Every Maharashtra minister to get a public relations officer
Do you think the government has been spending a lot on marketing? It plans to spend more.
The state will hire 30 public relations officers, a dedicated personnel for each of the 30 ministers, at a cost of Rs90 lakh a year. The PR officers will be hired on a contract basis for two years or until the tenure of the state cabinet. The government order issued on Monday said the monthly salary of these personnel will be Rs25,000 and they will be hired by the General Administration Department (GAD).
The government order states, “The state has approved hiring of 30 public relations for each minister to publicise government schemes, policies through several newspapers, TV channels besides giving clarifications on various issues.”
This is in addition to a full-fledged department handling publicity and information for the government. The directorate general of publicity and information (DGIPR) handles the entire public outreach for the government, including tracking daily meetings and decisions taken besides publicizing schemes and initiatives of the government. DGIPR is led by a director general followed by four directors and seven deputy directors, 31 district information offices and 16 sub information offices.
“We have several vacancies in DGIPR and it was decided that the best option to hire additional staff would be through contractual basis. Our liason officers are assigned to three to four departments across ministers,” said Brijesh Singh, secretary and director general of DGIPR.
However, another senior official, who did not want to be named, admitted the decision was taken after a Sena minister threw a tantrum demanding that a PR officer be assigned to every minister as all departments were not getting adequate publicity.