Thursday, January 28, 2016

PM gets complaints against customs and excise officers; asks for strict action against erring bureaucrats

IN AN aggressive stand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday ordered strict action against officers who fail to redress public grievances of people. During the ninth interaction with secretaries through PRAGATI —multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, PM went to the extent of saying that options could include even dismissal of officers, according to reports. The complaints that PM had received were mainly related officers belonging to customs and excise sector, as he reviewed…
big infrastructure projects including Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Jal Marg Vikas Project from Allahabad to Haldia.
It’s believed that some top industrialists and businessmen have complained in PMO against harassment by officers, particularly of excise and customs.
The official statement released by the PMO on Wednesday said: “Taking strong exception at complaints and grievances from people, related to the customs and excise sector, the Prime Minister asked for strict action against responsible officials. He urged all Secretaries whose departments have extensive public dealing, to set up a system for top-level monitoring of grievances immediately.”
PM reviewed the progress of core sector projects in road, railway, coal, power and renewable energy sectors, spread over states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan.
PM also reviewed the progress of Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) and implementation of the National Old Age Pension Scheme.
The question however comes how the erring officials would be punished? According to rules, a government servant can be dismissed only after she completion of 30 years of service though Group A and B officers can be compulsorily retired once they attain the age of 50 years.
Also, there are provisions under which pensions can be withheld if there are disciplinary actions against an officer for any dereliction of duties.

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