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February 24, 2015

Secretaries directed to overstay at offices


February 24, 2015

THE administrative secretaries of all the Punjab government departments have been directed to stay at their offices even after the office timings during the Punjab Assembly session to entertain the visiting public representatives.
In this regard, Implementation and Coordination (I&C) Wing of the S&GAD had issued a notification on February 20, 2015 directing the administrative secretaries to stay at the offices after the office timings in order to attend the MPAs who visit the public offices to redress public grievances.
As per the notification, it is observed that during the assembly session public representatives visiting the government offices after office hours are not being attended due to non-availability of administrative secretaries. They face problems in solving public problems. The competent authority has desired that all administrative secretaries should remain present in the respective offices during the assembly session after the office hours. In case of any meeting or any other exigency, the senior most Additional Secretary or Deputy Secretary should remain available to attend the public representatives.
It may be recalled that some MPAs filed privileged motion in the PA that administrative secretaries or officers concerned were not available at their offices when they visited their offices to redress public grievances. Some senior officers, while showing their displeasure over this directive, said the assembly session did not continue throughout the year. The public representatives may visit the government offices in the days when the assembly session was not being held.
They observed that in the house of 371 of the Punjab Assembly, usually 100 or above public representatives attended the session, while majority of them visited government offices. Moreover, during the present session 10 or more times the quorum was pointed out when only 30 or more MPAs were present in the house. In the house of 371, presence of minimum 93

members is required to maintain quorum.
It is a routine practice that MPAs slip from the house after marking their attendance. Most of the MPAs visit the government offices for their personal piece of work, not for the public grievances. Interestingly, Punjab Curriculum and Text Board Bill 2015 could not be passed by the assembly during its proceedings held on February 19 and 20 as the Speaker had to adjourn the proceedings due to shortage of quorum and finally the bill has been passed by the PA on February 23.

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