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Khandu, Mein call for greater role of DCs

Our Correspondent
Itanagar, June 9: Deputy Commissioners in the state may soon be exercising greater autonomy with Chief Minister Pema Khandu endorsing the process of strengthening their decision-making powers.

Chairing the two-day workshop of the Annual Development Agenda, which began here on Friday, Khandu said that its objective is to strengthen the feedback system involving Deputy Commissioners and departments to resolve issues “hindering the smooth implementation of schemes and projects at the field level”.

He said that the powers of the Deputy Commissioners will be strengthened and decision-making at the grassroots level will be empowered as was the case when the state was still a union territory. He said that the current top-down approach of decision-making may “jeopardize the whole system”.

Khandu said that Deputy Commissioners have been delegated with maximum power and responsibilities for making the decentralized planning process a success. Around 25 flagship programmes and 138 announcements have been made in the last Budget which is to be implemented as per guidelines.

The CM requested Deputy Commissioners to play a proactive role in the successful implementation of these schemes and to take monthly review meetings and regularly monitor progress.

Emphasizing on the leadership role that a deputy commissioner could undertake, Khandu recalled the services of few officers who went out of their way trying to bring changes in people’s lives such as Neerunanda who was posted in Tawang in the 1970s and took the initiative to build the existing Tawang-Lumla road purely out of donations from the public “without using a penny from government sources”.

He also cited the example of Armstrong Pame, an IAS officer from Manipur who has made similar ventures and that he wishes to see similar leadership attitude in other officers here too.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that the government has taken several new initiatives which were announced in the Budget speech. He said that most of the initiatives are the result of “Dream Change Arunachal 2027 Conclave” which was held last year in partnership with the RGU.

Mein said that many of the plans and policies of the government are not implemented due to lack of co-ordination. He said that the success of these schemes and programmes depends on creating awareness amongst all stakeholders including people’s representatives to government officials.

“It is equally important to hold consultations on the important issues confronting the development process of the state and sort out matters across the table to the extent possible and it is with this objective that the finance, planning and investment department has organized this workshop,” Mein said.

He informed that the state government had constituted 25 committees to frame guidelines for major budget schemes.
Citing the role of Deputy Commissioners, he asked them to take full responsibility towards proper implementation of these schemes and programmes in the districts and help in converting the dream of the government into reality.
He called upon all the stakeholders to join hands and work together as ‘Team Arunachal’ and implement all schemes and programmes in letter and spirit and bring a “sea change in not only the government’s functioning but also help in bringing substantial change in the socio-economic condition of the people”.

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Ankur Kalita