In an unprecedented move to ensure their presence in the state secretariat here, the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government has made it mandatory to mark their attendance every day, official sources said Wednesday.
"The private secretary of every minister has to inform the chief secretary's office about the daily schedule of the minister," a senior official told IANS.
If the minister is out of the secretariat, the secretary has to inform the reason why he or she is absent, the official added.
However, it's still not clear what action Virbhadra Singh, who is in his sixth stint as the chief minister, will take against the ministers for their short attendance.
The strength of the cabinet, including the chief minister, is 11 against the 12 permissible under the statutory provisions.
Political observers say the chief minister's decision in this regard was a tactical move to put pressure on the ministers to devote more time in formulating and implementing government programmes and policies than touring the constituencies.
The government in 2010 made it mandatory for all IAS officers, Himachal Pradesh Administrative Service officers and nearly 1,400 other employees posted in the state secretariat to mark attendance through the biometric system.