Step towards good governance
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, last week asked the officers to simplify government procedures so as to enable people to avail services in a time-bound manner. She said that no undue favours are extended to those wielding influence in the corridors of power. “Charity begins at home. I have compiled a list of my relatives who are government employees which I will be sending to GAD soon. I hope the officers will deal with them as they do with other employees,” she said while chairing a high-level meeting of DCs and SSPs of Jammu Division.
Drawing a clear line of distinction between the issues confronting administration in Kashmir and Jammu regions, the Chief Minister said the officers have to fulfill their obligations to ensure that systems work properly in reaching the grassroots with their proactive participation. She said the year-long working season in Jammu region is a boon as it enables the executing agencies to implement the schemes in a time-bound manner, unlike Kashmir where hostile weather conditions doubled with challenges on the law-and-order front come as major impediments in completing the development projects on time.
Asking civil and police administration to work with greater synergy, Mehbooba Mufti singled out land mafia as the biggest challenge before the government in Jammu region. She underlined the need to formulate a comprehensive strategy to speed up follow-up action once the FIRs are registered against land encroachers, so that the illegally-occupied land is retrieved.
In other words, Mehbooba meant to say that nobody should be shown out of way favours while considering their service record and performance. This is actually a step to check the growing nepotism in the administration because relatives and close family members of a Chief Minister would be tempted to use influence and blood relations to draw out favours and privileges from the Government.
This is a highly impressive move by the Chief Minister. Naturally, it should generate identical action by other ministers and top brass of bureaucracy. The thinking will also silence those who might at any time raise their accusing finger towards the Chief Minister that she was showing favour to selected Government employees at the cost of others. This is a positive step towards good governance and would be highly appreciated provided Ministers follow the suit and create a precedence that will go a long way in removing nepotism and favouritism from the administration. While history is testimony that people at the helm of affairs hardly keep the verbal statements on ground, will the present dispensation turn to be different, it too will be judged by the history.