Mandate a historic opportunity, no digging of past: Mufti

JAMMU: Describing the people’s mandate as a historic opportunity, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday said the government has come with a positive agenda to change the system of governance and ensure justice to all.
Chairing his maiden meeting of administrative secretaries after assuming office here, the Chief Minister stated that the government will soon make guidelines to make heads of the departments accountable and responsible so that they perform to the best of their ability. He asked them to become agents of change and play a key role in strengthening democratic institutions and ushering in a new era in transparency and good governance in the state.
“You are my tools of governance. J&K has to deliver on development front so that people of the state, who have suffered for long, feel the change coming on the ground,” Mufti said.
He said the verdict of the people in the assembly elections is a great opportunity to connect and further gel the three distinct regions of J&K. He said that there will be no digging of the past and the initiatives taken between 2002 and 2005 will move forward “to firmly put the state on the development map of the country.”
The Chief Minister made a reference to the fractured mandate of 2002 elections when, after becoming Chief Minister, he took several initiatives like cross-LoC trade that are seen as historical in nature. He praised the former Prime Minister of India Atal Behari Vajpayee and the NDA government of that time which took several confidence building measures to help bring in peace and stability in the state.
Stressing that governance has to be made people-friendly at the grassroots level, the Chief Minister stated that he will ensure that powers are delegated to the officers for effective administrative disposal. “J&K has been in pain for a pretty long time. When a part of the country is in pain, it needs attention,” he added.
The Chief Minister made a pointed reference to make pivotal government institutions like the Accountability Commission and the Public Service Commission functional so that the people are facilitated and trust deficit in government institutions is removed. “Time-bound delivery of services to the people of the State must be prioritized,” the Chief Minister said.
Identifying key sectors of public delivery like Health, Education, Agriculture, CAPD, Power and PHE, the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to prepare a detailed presentation on functioning of these departments for review of the Cabinet.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, in his address, praised the Chief Minister for his vision to transform J&K into one of the best states in the country. He asked the Administrative Secretaries to work in tandem and play their role in making J&K a model State.
Earlier, the Chief Secretary, Iqbal Khanday, welcomed the Chief Minister in his first meeting of the administrative secretaries after taking over as Chief Minister of the state. He assured the Chief Minister that the administration shall leave no stone unturned to successfully implement the Agenda of the Alliance of the government.
Besides the Chief Secretary, administrative secretaries of Industries & Commerce, Planning & Development, Finance, Power, Home, PHE & IFC, Health & Medical Education, Public Works, Higher Education, School Education, Revenue, Tourism & Culture, General Administration, Transport, Agriculture Production, ARI & Trainings, Housing & Urban Development, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Animal Husbandry, Justice, Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Cooperatives, Information Technology & Science & Technology, Social Welfare and Rural Development Departments attended the meeting.