Time to fix responsibility

Chief Minister Pema Khandu issued a note on Thursday to his ministerial colleagues, asking why routine and basic functions of the government are not being carried out properly. This note comes just days after the delay in releasing the salaries of the contractual employees of the Pakke Tiger Reserve and students’ stipends made headlines across the local dailies. In the same note, the CM wrote, “Why can’t we fix responsibility for red tape, inaction and such utter lack of devotion towards routine functions of government business transactions?” It looks like he is targeting the babus of his own government.

Arunachal is one of the states where red tape is rampant. The bureaucrats are known to hold files for months. In some cases, they deliberately hold it for reasons best known to them. Such instances have severely affected the governance. The state’s finance department has gained notoriety, especially for delaying files. Chief Minister Pema Khandu should come down hard on government officials who hold back files, thereby affecting implementation of the government’s programmes and policies. Also, every year, students have to make hue and cry for stipends. This has to end. A proper mechanism should be set up to ensure that stipends are released on time. The same goes for the contractual employees. In many departments, the contractual employees carry the burden of the whole department. It is unfair that, despite working so hard, they have to wait for salaries for months.