JAMMU, Mar 19: While lauding the decision taken in the very first Cabinet meet by the newly formed Punjab Govt, chairman of the NPP and former minister Harsh Dev Singh called upon the BJP-PDP Govt to take a cue from there and introduce financial and administrative reforms in a nearly bankrupt state like J&K.
In a press statement here today, NPP leader said Amrinder Singh had translated several of his election time promises into reality in his very first cabinet meet thereby conveying his intentions of pruning the decayed and corruption plagued system. He said that the Punjab Cabinet laid down new benchmarks in the form of ‘code of ethics’ for the ministers and Govt by taking historical decisions like end of VIP culture; ‘ no’ to beacon lights on ministers’ vehicles, strict laws on conflict of interests of ministers, disqualification for ministers found having interest in business houses or upon receipt of valuable gifts, strict adherence to austerity measures, no to banquets and dinners at Govt expense, introduction of legislation for ending `Mafia Raj’ in sand mining, transport, cable and liquor trade, non- involvement of district administration during the functions and visits of ministers to district headquarters, annual declaration of assets by all MLAs and bureaucrats, third party audit of all Govt expenditure and ban on foreign travel of ministers at Govt expense.
Expressing concern over the fast deteriorating administrative and financial set up in the State, Harsh Dev called upon the Chief Minister to assert to save the otherwise pauper State from a virtual collapse. He said that while the ministers’ were exploiting the public exchequer to the fullest and openly using the tax payers’ money for the private operations, the common man was subjected to the most obnoxious and contemptuous treatment. He said that dozens of protests, demonstrations and agitations held on day to day basis amply demonstrated the anger and lack of confidence of the public in the governance.
He said that while the Govt agencies and Vigilance Organization were being used to harass the inconvenient officers, the public funds amounting to hundreds of crores were being siphoned by the corrupt officers enjoying Govt patronage in violation of Financial code and in breach of stipulated norms and procedures.