Assam CM sets May 10 deadline for settling old files in state secretariat

Guwahati, Jan 17 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday asked the secretariat staff to ensure that all pending files are disposed by May 10, when his government will complete its first year in office.

He said that a special effort – Project Sadbhavana’ will be launched on February one for the purpose of clearing the backlog of files in the secretariat and focus will be put on cleanliness within the sachivalaya, decentralisation of work and commencing of e-office initiatives.

He said the secretariat employees work productively for two to three hours during the day and there is a large rush of visitors to the state secretariat the entire year due to the non-disposal of files and cases.

Sarma said a survey had found that only seven per cent general public visit the secretariat. Twentynine per cent come for their departmental proceedings and transfers, 24 per cent are contractors, 12 per cent are teachers, 6.5 per cent are representatives of private companies and six per cent are retired employees.

Twentyseven per cent visitors go to the education department, 19 per cent to PWD, eight per cent pension and five per cent water resources department.

The system must change and old files be disposed by taking collective decision, he said.

‘Project Sadbhavana’ will be launched on February 1 when an online portal will be launched for the public to share their file number or upload their letter of request.

A nodal officer of each department will monitor the uploads and pursue them with the principal secretary. Cases in which decisions cannot be arrived at, will be sent to him, Sarma said.

All files prior to May 10, 2021, will have to be settled before that date this year, whether the concerned person has approached us through the portal, other means or not. For files and cases in the period after that day will move at their own right pace … The cabinet will brainstorm if necessary and innovate means to settle the cases, he said.

Unnecessary files will be shredded by machines, those sensitive in nature will be kept at the archives section and those needed which require to be kept for a mandated period will be put in a storage facility, the chief minister said.

Decentralisation is very important and I ask the secretariat to share its work with the directorates and other offices, Sarma said.

He also pitched in for e-office initiatives from May 11 this year with the target of switching over to the system completely by May 10, 2023.