Patna: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday revived his Lok Samvad (public interaction) programme at his 1 Aney Marg official residence after four months, and blamed the Congress for scarcity of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officials in the country.
Asked about the Centre’s proposal to hire 10 joint secretaries from the private sector, he said: “I will not comment on the experiment to appoint people from private sector as joint secretaries in central government departments, but this situation has arisen due to scarcity of IAS and IPS officers for which the Congress is responsible.”
He said that the drop in the number of bureaucrats was a fallout of a decision taken by then Union minister P. Chidambaram in 1998.
“The year we came to power in Bihar (in 2005) the state got just one IAS and one IPS officer,” Nitish said.
At present, there are around 200 IAS and 180 IPS officers posted in the state.
The chief minister added that due to the scarcity of bureaucrats, “one officer has to oversee several departments. We are unable to make new districts and sub-divisions in the state because they will have to be manned by IAS and IPS officials and we don’t have their required strength.”
Nitish also asserted that the state government wanted to make amendments in the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, but added: “Details will be decided later. Studies of various aspects are going on to understand whether some of its provisions are unnecessarily harsh, or are being misused.”
He, however, asserted that prohibition was social reform and did not say that it would be removed.
He said that a campaign would be conducted to encourage people to quit the habit of chewing tobacco ( khaini) and to tell farmers about alternatives to tobacco, which is cultivated as a cash crop.
“However, no sudden decision will be taken on khaini and tobacco cultivation,” Nitish added.
Nitish had last held his Lok Samvad on February 12.
“Directions for convening Lok Samvad were given on June 8,” said a senior official close to the chief minister.
A total of 15 people from different districts with their suggestions, several of which were noteworthy and the chief minister directed his officials to follow them up.
There was speculation that Nitish chose this particular Monday to resume the Lok Samvad because it was RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s birthday.
“What could be a better move to hog the attention on a day the RJD was busy celebrating its boss’ birthday,” said a senior JDU leader.
Courtesy: The Telegraph