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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

Foreign visits by ministers, babus only if necessary: Uttarakhand CM

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Dehradun, August 18, 2014
First Published: 22:06 IST(18/8/2014) | Last Updated: 22:08 IST(18/8/2014)

Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said on Monday that foreign visits of cabinet ministers or officials would be allowed only in case of necessity, a measure he said was part of the "hard decisions" he had announced would be taken to improve governance.

"We understand the value of study tours… but the officials and ministers wanting to visit abroad or within the country would've to explain how beneficial such study tours would be for them and their respective departments," Rawat told reporters.

Announcing a few other tough measures, the CM said an employee's request for transfer on medical grounds would be entertained only if the illness is serious. In case the employee still proceeds on leave, Rawat said, it would be deemed as leave without pay.

Often, newly-appointed teachers delay joining their first place of posting to gain time so that they can manage posting at a preferred place. Such an act would be considered as violation of government orders, Rawat said.

A self-auditing system would be part of the new measures aimed at strengthening transparency, Rawat added.

"For example, an official authorised to issue licences to rickshaw pullers would have to share with his higher-ups the details of the beneficiaries," the CM said.

To curb spread of slums, it would be mandatory for builders to construct low-cost housing while building high-rise residential complexes in urban areas, Rawat said.


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Factionalism within the ruling Congress has come to the fore again ahead of the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand due on November 20. According to reports, both chief minister Harish Rawat and his predecessor Vijay Bahuguna have been lobbying hard for the RS seat. While the CM is reportedly seeking the RS seat for one of his supporters, Bahuguna, who has been sidelined within the Congress since his ouster as the CM i, wants it for himself.
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