| Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and (left) rural development minister Nitish Mishra at the workshop. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Block development officers would now get Rs 10 lakh each every year for the upkeep of their office and residence.
Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Tuesday announced the decision at a daylong workshop for newly appointed block development officers (BDOs). For the first time, 496 rural development officers were directly made BDOs. Usually, they have to go through three years of training to become a BDO.
Delivering the inaugural speech at the workshop organised by the rural development department, Manjhi said: “Every BDO will get Rs 10 lakh annually for the upkeep of their office and official residence. The rural development minister, Nitish Mishra, had given me the proposal to sanction the annual budget of Rs 5 lakh. I am making it Rs 10 lakh.”
Earlier, the block-level officers had to write a letter to their respective district magistrates to get funds for the upkeep. This announcement stops their dependence on the district magistrate, as they can spend the entire amount on their own.
Now onwards, BDOs would also be a gazetted officer, Manjhi announced. A gazetted officer is authorised to attest any official documents.
Rural development minister Nitish Mishra emphasised on the officers the need to take measures for transparency and accountability. He added that their work would be monitored every month.
Manjhi added: “I feel that somewhere there is a lack of efficiency in our officials at the panchayat- and block-level. They must gain the trust and faith of the financially privileged people.”