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Laggards stall 200-day drum

Calcutta, Dec. 18: The failure of several departments to provide adequate information on their performance has forced the government to defer the publication of a booklet highlighting its achievements in 200 days.

The booklet, which was to be released on December 5 (the day the Mamata Banerjee-led government completed 200 days in power), is now expected to come out tomorrow.

A senior government official at Writers’ Buildings said: “The chief minister’s office is now engaged in proof reading of the material sent in by the various departments. We hope to bring out the booklet tomorrow.”

After rejecting nearly half of the initial write-ups by the 48 departments, state chief secretary Samar Ghosh wrote a letter (No. 241-CS/2011) reminding the offices concerned to send their information following the “prescribed format” only.

“The chief secretary was forced to send a reminder only because nearly half of the departments did not care to prepare the write-ups according to the format sent to them earlier. The chief secretary’s office has returned the write-ups asking the departments to resend the information according to the format prescribed,” said the official.

The format included brief mention of the projects sanctioned to them by December 5, areas of success with figures, and comparison with the achievements in the Left Front regime between May and December last year, the official added.

The format also required the departments to highlight their achievements in the first 90 days.

Asked about the kind of information provided, the official cited the write-up sent by the backward classes welfare department.

“For example, the backward classes welfare department has written that initiatives have been taken to ensure quick issuance of caste certificates and disbursement of loans and scholarships. But it did not mention how many caste certificates have been issued so far. They should have shown in their write-up that the initiatives have yielded positive results by comparing them with the previous six months’ records (during the Left regime).”

The official said despite Ghosh pointing out how the departments should format their write-ups, it was “embarrassing” that nearly half of the offices could not provide adequate information, which led to the delay in the publication of the booklet.

“It is very embarrassing for the new government that it failed to publish the booklet on the scheduled date. The failure of the departments to submit reports as prescribed is the major reason behind this,” said an official at Writers’ Buildings.