States & UTs

    U'khand Ministers Should Have The Right To Share Opinion On ACR: Satpal Maharaj

    The Hawk
    April25/ 2023

    Satpal Maharaj

    Dehradun: Tourism and Culture Minister Satpal Maharaj on Tuesday said just like other states, ministers in Uttarakhand should also have the right to share their opinion on the annual confidential reports of the officials of their department.
    He presented a series of arguments to justify his demand. A majority of the people of the state want ministers to have this right as their counterparts in other states. It will not only lead to greater transparency in development works but will also enable proper review of departments, the BJP leader said in a statement here.
    All ministers have given their consent in this matter at a recent cabinet meeting, he claimed. An ACR is an assessment of the character, conduct, capabilities and performance of an official throughout the year.
    "When ministers in other states have this right and those in Uttarakhand also had it during ND Tiwari's government, why can't the practice be implemented again?" the cabinet minister asked.
    "We had restored an old order in panchayati raj department allowing block chiefs to write the ACR of block development officers (BDO) and zilla panchayat chiefs to write the ACR of chief development officers (CDO) to curb corruption in development works undertaken at panchayat level. We should not hesitate in implementing an old practice," he said.
    "It is beyond doubt that the minister heads a department. If the chief minister and the chief secretary can write their opinions on ACRs why can't the minister?" he asked.
    It is correct that the chief minister is the accepting authority in the system but that does not mean the minister cannot give his or her opinion, he said. Citing an example, Maharaj said during the trial of a case, the lower court, the session court and the high court all give their opinion but the final verdict is with the Supreme Court. It should not be presumed that the minister will write against officials working under him, the minister added. —PTI