Uttar Pradesh’s agriculture minister’s surprise check at Krishi Bhavan left several latecomers scrambling, including some who tried to scale the walls of the agriculture directorate to mark their attendance.
Just after 10am on Monday Surya Pratap Shahi ordered all entry and exit gates locked to prevent tardy employees from entering the premises.
As a lesson in punctuality, the minister ordered deduction of half a day’s salary for personnel who couldn’t manage to mark themselves present on time – over 65 people. He also ordered deduction of a full day’s salary and awarding adverse entry in the service records for officers absent without a leave application.
“They have been addicted to coming late to offices during the last 15 years, but now, they have to change their habits,” the minister told Hindustan Times.
Shahi was at Krishi Bhavan for over five hours, reviewing various schemes being run by the agriculture department, and kept employees and officials on their toes.
Accompanied by his team of officers, including principal secretary Rajnish Gupta, the senior minister arrived into the directorate around 9:50am, 10 minutes before the stipulated office time. As soon as news of the minister’s inspection spread, dozens of employees rushed to reach office.
The minister inspected various sections and offices on all the floors at Krishi Bhavan, checked attendance registers, interacted with the staff, talked to them of their working issues and gave directions for proper upkeep of files and cleanliness.
He also held a long meeting with officials, reviewing various schemes and issuing directives. He asked them to chalk out an action plan on how to double farmers’ income in the next five years.
“I also asked them to soon arrange a state-level agriculture seminar wherein experts, people’s representatives and farmers put their heads together to suggest ways to improve the agriculture sector. I also directed the officials to prepare a scheme to make seeds like coarse grains available to farmers on subsidised rates for the water-scarce (semi-arid) districts in Bundelkhand,” Shahi said.
Minister of state for minority affairs Mohsin Raza also paid a surprise visit to the office of the Shia Waqf Board.
He was reportedly annoyed when he found no employee at work even at 11:30am. “This is shocking...the fans are running, the ACs are on,” he said.
“It seems that the officials of this department do not feel the pain of the common public, who come from far flung places with their grievances,” Raza said.
“We (the ministers) reach offices by 9:30am. But, even at 11:30am, the officials are yet to reach,” he said.