The state government has accepted most of the recommendations made by the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) in its first report and decided to downsize the administrative machinery by reducing the number of departments from the existing 47 to 44 and restructuring several others. The work distribution among the restructured departments would be done afresh. Several Bills would be tabled in the House in the coming session.
There were altogether 44 subjects for Cabinet's consideration, of which 41 were accepted. The Rajbhasha and Civil Aviation Departments have been merged with the Cabinet Secretariat Department. Similarly, National Savings and Small Savings Department and Institutional Finance and Programme Implementation Department have been merged with the Finance Department.
The Registration and Excise and Prohibition Department would also be one entity. The Health Department has also been merged with the Medical Education and Family Welfare Department.
With the addition of the Department of Housing, the Urban Development Department will now be known as Urban Development and Housing Department. The Bihar Water Board has, however, been removed from the Urban Development Department and put under the PHED.
The HRD Department will also include higher, secondary, primary and adult education. In other significant decisions, as per the ARC recommendations, the Cabinet decided to dissolve the three apex bodies of higher education - the Inter University Board, Bihar State University Service Commission and the Bihar State College Service Commission. The HRD Department would submit a proposal for the recruitment of teachers
The Welfare Department has, however, been trifurcated to make three separate departments - SC and ST Welfare Department, Backward Class and Extremely Backward Class Department and Social Welfare Department. The restructuring of the departments was done in accordance with the ARC guidelines. The Cabinet decided to take action against those employees who remain on unauthorised leave for five years in continuation.
As per the ARC recommendations, the Police Construction Corporation would be strengthened and all police buildings would be handed over to it for maintenance and construction. A cell would be constituted under an eminent economist in the Department of Finance.
The Transport Department would also be revamped. The Cabinet decided to computerise the entire set-up and make the enforcement wing more active. The Cabinet decided, in principle, to make the tax structure compatible with the neighbouring states. The department would bring the necessary proposal in this regard.