CM regrets communication gap between MLAs and ministers

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IMPHAL, February 24: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, today informed the House that he will give ‘straight instructions’ to the Chief Secretary of the State and ministers concerned to direct the Head of Departments to make themselves more accessible to MLAs in time of need.

The Chief Minister stated this while giving clarification on complaints made by opposition MLAs while moving their cut motion during discussion and voting for grant for the fiscal year 2016-17, during the 4th day of the ongoing budget session.

Further the Chief Minister regretted the non availability of Cabinet ministers in their respective offices, when approached by MLAs adding that he appealed his Council of Ministers to respond to the need of the representatives who are discharging their duties in the interest of the public.

Mitigating the circumstances, he said that since the recent earthquake most of the ministers are dislocated from their offices and operating from their own conveniences temporarily, following expert advice that some of the ministers’ offices are not safe.

Nevertheless, he appealed to the ministers to atleast attend to the needs through phones calls acknowledging the fact that the representatives are working in public interest rather than their own personal gain.

In the meantime, he also informed the House that he will give ‘straight instructions’ to the Chief Secretary to direct the Head of Departments in the civil secretariats to be more accessible to MLAs.

Moving their motion, the opposition MLAs, alleged that most of the minister are not available in their offices.

Even as handful of ministers are being responsive despite not being able to meet in person, some ministers are evading even phone calls of the MLAs while some require lobbying, alleged the opposition bench.

The opposition MLAs further lamented that, not only the minister but some of the department heads have totally failed to co-operate with them (MLAs) despite repeated attempt under public pressure adding that the project Director of MDS was one of the most elusive of all.

With regards to the complaint of the sluggish nature of files movement in secretariat, the Chief Minister admitted that the file section has recieved the most complaints in the civil secretariat. He further assured to direct the Chief Secretary to rectify the existing trend.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, in his response said that he is open to the idea of the post-budget discussion as raised by the opposition MLAs. However, the proposal for pre-budget was not convenient at the present time, he said.

In his clarification on the delay in operation of IMC as full-fledged corporation, he said that the Act/policy requires further amendment which according to him will be tabled during the ongoing session.

Moreover, he informed that the government is actively considering the expansion of the IMC in greater Imphal areas before going on full corporation mode for better functioning in the future.

The MLAs who participated in the during discussion and voting for grant, include Dr I Ibohalbi, Kh Joykishan, K Shyam Singh, L Ibomcha and Th Syamkumar.

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