UP set to prune depts for smart governance
The Yogi Adityanath government is going ahead with its plan to reduce the number of government departments for smart and efficient governance in Uttar Pradesh.
The move comes a year-and-a-half after the government constituted a committee for the purpose at the behest of the Niti Aayog and is now planning to act on the recommendations of the committee.
The proposal to trim the number of departments from the existing 93 to nearly half of it has been cleared at the top political and bureaucratic levels and is likely to be put up before the state cabinet for consideration early next week.
“Yes, the proposal to bring down the number of departments by merging them will be considered at the competent level,” said a senior officer.
Although chief secretary Anoop Chandra Pandey and additional chief secretary, secretariat administrative department, Mahesh Gupta refused to comment on the issue, officials aware of the development said the number of departments will come down to nearly half if the cabinet gave the go-ahead to the move.
“A recommendation to bring the number departments to 57 was examined. Later a proposal to cut down the number of departments to 44 or even 34 was also considered at various levels. We are not sure of the final number but it may be about 50,” said the officers.
A six-member committee, headed by senior IAS officer Sanjay Agarwal, was constituted on January 3, 2018.
The committee, while recommending bringing the number of departments down had not suggested any changes in structure of functioning of 31 major departments that include finance, excise, law and justice, secretariat administration and planning etc.
The committee had recommended creation of posts of three new commissioners -- education, health and revenue commissioner -- to oversee functioning of major departments working with the same sectors. Will the state cabinet agree with this recommendation?
The state government already has four commissioners, including social welfare commissioner, agriculture production commissioner (APC), infrastructure and industrial development commissioner (IIDC) and finance commissioner. The post of APC is lying vacant for the past few months, while chief secretary and additional chief secretary, finance hold additional charge as IIDC and finance commissioner, respectively.
As per the committee recommendation, the education commissioner will oversee education basic, secondary, higher, technical and vocational education and sports, youth welfare and skills development and employment.
The health commissioner will have charge of medical and health, family welfare, food and drug administration, consumer affairs, weights and measures, ayush, women welfare, child development and nutritious food.
The revenue resource commissioner will have minerals and mining, transport, institutional finance, banking, stamps and registration, tax and excise departments.
A presentation was made by the committed before chief minister Yogi Adityanath on June 22, 2018 to discuss modalities for implementation and assess the impact of new system on governance and delivery. Yogi had asked the officer to consider the proposal threadbare before it was implemented.
“A mechanism is being evolved for better cohesion by merging some departments of the state government,” said an officer.