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Devolution Of Power To Revived Autonomous District Councils, Cabinet Makes Up Its Mind Finally

IMPHAL, Nov 3: A marathon session of the Congress-led Secular Progressive Front (SPF) Cabinet today deliberated on a wide range of issues and approved devolution of powers to local bodies but decision eluded the controversial issue of recruitment of primary school teachers.

According to SPF spokesman N Biren Singh the Cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister commenced from about 9 am and ended at late afternoon. The same session will continue tomorrow, he added.

Among others, it is informed that the Cabinet has approved devolution of powers of District Rural Development Agency (DR- DA) with regard to the hill areas to the recently revived Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) while for the valley districts Zilla Parishads have been empowered to implement the DRDA schemes.

Moreover, rather than the past practices of Deputy Commissioners concerned acting as the Executive Directors, one senior Manipur Civil Service officer each would be nominated/appointed to assume charge as Executive Directors.

The Cabinet further approved entrusting chairmen of ADCs as the DRDA Chairmen for the hill districts with the exception of chairmen of Senapati and of Sadar Hills ADCs who would respectively assume charge as the chairman and co-chairman.

Another decision of the Cabinet pertains to entrusting ADCs/ADMs concerned as the project Directors of DRDA, said N Biren, a senior Minister in the SPF coalition.

Further informing that authorities of the Hills Department, Personnel and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department have been assigned to ensure implementation of the Cabinet decisions, the spokesman disclosed that the employees hired on contract basis would be regularized.

The number of appointments to be regularized includes 13 in the department of Integrated Child Development Scheme; 98 at DRDA; 48 for Environment and Ecology Wing; 38 staff nurse for District Dental Health Project; and regularization of 81 grade IV employees.

Without specifying the number the Minister said some more employees would be recruited on contracted basis in the Manipur State AIDS Control Society.

Another decision of the Cabinet related to renaming Manipur Police Wireless Department as Manipur Police Telecommunication and classifying Director of the erstwhile department (Wireless) similar to status of the police department. It is also said that for smooth functioning of Manipur Police Telecommunication the strength would be increased to 406 from the present 330 with the appointment of candidates having knowledge of telecommunication for which 43 incumbents would be appointed on direct recruitment. Transfer and posting of DRDA staff would also be affected from among grade I and II officers, decided the Cabinet.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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