Chamling lashes out at bureaucracy

Gangtok, 12 Dec:

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today criticized the state bureaucracy for failing to properly implement government policies. He stated that while the government takes policy decisions, the implementation of those policies is either slow or not done in a swift and proper manner. This, he admitted, has been a weakness of his government.

Sikkim Democratic Front completed 23 years in power today and to mark the occasion a function was organised at Manan Kendra in the Capital today. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling along with cabinet members, members of legislative assembly, top Government functionaries, bureaucrats and the entire rank and file of the party were present in the function.

A beaming Chief Minister described the moment as "a happy occasion" while starting his address. Later however, the CM went on to express his displeasure at the failings of the bureaucracy.

Citing example of the recent ban on cow slaughter, he said that the concerned department has not yet come up with rules in this direction. He added that the work of the public should be done and public servants should not shrug off their responsibilities citing "lack of fund" as an excuse.

Asking all the department heads and officers not to fail in implementation he asked them to work on a white paper on the 23 years of development in Sikkim to be tabled in the next Assembly Session.

The CM also said that "untimely promotions" is a weakness in administration with officers vying to get promoted in rank with no increase in work. He asked all, from officers to Muster Roll workers, to let go of such power struggles and to focus on qualitative work.

He called on bureaucrats, party members and the citizens for introspection and asked all to collectively take part in the development goals of the state.

Pointing out the problems faced by the developing world including Sikkim, the CM held that the rate of development and democratization is slow due to some politicians and government officers who treat the public like servants.

He reminded the audience that be it a politician or an officer through merit, everyone is a public servant and asked all not to "personalise" resources for the benefit of few.

On the completion of a record 23 years in power, he said, "Compare Sikkim then and now."

The CM said that the chief feature of success of his government is the fulfillment of basic minimum needs for residents of the state and all sections of Sikkimese society.

He added that in the last 20 years the poverty rate in the state has declined sharply from 41% to 8%, a record since the second World War for any country or state.

Adding that his government is people centric, he said Sikkim has fulfilled many of the UNESCO millennium development goals with each section of the society getting development along with proper and comfortable housing meant for a holistic and happy life.

Stating that non Sikkim Subject/COI holders opening shops and business establishments in rural areas of the state is a concern, the CM asked all Sikkimese to be vigilant and "take a stand for Sikkim".

On the need for patent to build a global brand for Sikkimese products and to instill a sense of ownership in the Sikkimese people, he asked the entrepreneurs and various stakeholders including the government to patent products made in the state which will later promote the state as leading producer.

On a progressive note, the Chief Minister also said that the state is for the growth of all sections of society including sexual minorities like the gay, lesbian and transgender communities.

Lastly, he thanked and congratulated all the leaders, bureaucrats, party members and the people of Sikkim for voting his party to power for a record number of times.

Earlier, Chief Secretary, AK. Shrivastava in his welcome address touched upon some of the developmental activities carried out by the SDF government in the last 23 years. He also shared the upcoming priority projects of the government.

Principal Secretary, Finance cum Development Commissioner, VB Pathak presented a brief report on the achievements of the SDF government during its 23 years of governance.

The programme concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Secretary, RM&DD, DR Nepal.