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CS, boards take over

Ranchi, Aug. 16: As cabinet approved formation of Scheduled Castes Advisory Committee, the state government appointed P.P. Sharma the chief secretary and promoted two other aspirants — A.K. Basu and Mukhtiyar Singh — to CS scale today.

The panel functioning will be similar to that of Tribes Advisory Council and will be headed by the chief minister, with welfare minister being his deputy. All scheduled caste Jharkhand MLAs and MPs will be its members.

Chief secretary, development commissioner, home secretary, DGP, law secretary, ADG-SC/ST and tribal welfare commissioner will be the ex-officio members. There will also be four nominated members, including registered NGOs operating in Scheduled Caste dominated areas.

Constitution of boards for wildlife and bio-diversity were the other major decisions. The Jharkhand Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management rules, 2007, too, was passed and funds granted for roads.

Meanwhile, development commissioner A.K. Chugh, the fourth CS aspirant, proceeded on a year’s earned leave for “family reasons”, with Mukhtiyar Singh taking over. Chugh had been holding the additional charge of CS before Sharma. Singh was given additional charge of finance secretary, while A.K. Basu took over as director-general of ATI. He will hold additional charge of principal secretary, science & technology and drinking water & sanitation departments.

The state government decision to promote Singh and Basu raised heckles in the bureaucratic circle. They were promoted in anticipation of the post-facto approval from the Union government, while All India Service rules, amended in March 2007, made it mandatory for states to seek prior concurrence of Centre.

Jharkhand, at present, has four posts in the scale of chief secretary. Sharma, Chugh and A.K. Mishra hold these posts. The one slot fell vacant after M.K. Mandal retired on February 28. So, only one officer was eligible to be promoted in the CS scale. Mishra is set to retire in September.

Sources said Chugh’s decision to go on leave was the reason behind promoting the two officers. But Chugh will be getting his salary, making it five IAS officers to draw salary in CS scale.

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