Editorial: Restoring the credibility

Srinagar: Early this week when the state assembly met in Jammu, most of the legislators (opposition as well as the ruling party included) raised various concerns about the losing trust and credibility of the elected representatives.

The legislators alleged that government officials are not taking them seriously and even the field offices like that of Deputy Commissioners posted in various districts are not keeping them posted about the developmental works in their respective districts. The MLA alleged that DC’s have become Ministers and they announce all the schemes without taking the concerned MLA’s on board.

Apart from this the legislators said that they feel humiliated that even the recommendations of various house committees formed on various issues too are ignored thus telling upon the very credibility of the legislators.

Ensuring smooth and transparent functioning of the government departments is a key concern for the government running the state. It is this consideration that government forms house committees of the legislature and asks them to report on the performance of various departments from time to time.  

The Rule 308-A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in State Legislature says that the reports of various House Committees placed on the table in either House of Legislature have to be implemented by the Departments concerned.

The Action Taken Report (ATR), has to be sent in once action is taken on these reports. Constituting House Committees is a recognized practice in a democratic dispensation. By and large, House Committees with specific agenda of reporting on the performance of a particular department on particular or general administrative matters is a method of providing good governance.

However, what has emerged as a challenge for the house committees is that the reports they forward to the government for implementation are seldom being applied in toto.

Why the officials are reluctant to implement the suggestions of bringing about reforms in the existing practices is something inexplicable. If the administrative organs find that some of the recommendations made by the House Committee cannot be implemented on technical, administrative and other grounds they should bring it to the notice of the government or the Legislative Assembly in normal course of things so that any hindrance that may have cropped up can be ironed out.

But what has been actually witnessed on ground is that the officials remain silent to the extent that the term of the house committee either expires or the issue dies a silent death. This attitude is tantamount to undermining the authority and status of the legislature.

In a sound and smooth democratic dispensation there has to be full coordination among the three organs of the State like legislature, executive and the judiciary. If cohesion among them is lacking, it has adverse impact on good governance. It cannot be called good and smooth administration.



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