Chided by Capt, Local Govt withdraws order - ECAS Punjab

Chided by Capt, Local Govt withdraws order

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Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8

The Punjab Local Government Department has withdrawn instructions issued by its top officer on being ticked off by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for "arbitrarily interfering" in the functioning of the Punjab Bureau of Investment (Invest Punjab) that is directly under his purview.

Reacting strongly to Additional Chief Secretary's instructions withdrawing concurrent powers vested with the officials in the bureau for single-window clearance to change of land use (CLU), layout and building plans, the CM pointed out that these not only violated "the spirit of ease of doing business", but had been issued without consulting him.

The instructions were issued by Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Sanjay Kumar upon approval by Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra. When contacted, the minister said: "The CM is supreme. On his instructions, the ACS has withdrawn the letter." The ACS was not available for comment.

The Bureau of Investment and the Local Government Department have had differences on the 'ease of doing business'. Local Government officials claim that project clearances by the bureau have caused revenue losses and that there is no check on technical aspects.

The development comes close on the heels of a controversy over a firm being allegedly favoured by introducing a clause in the Rs 650-crore Budha Nullah revival plan tender.

The Chief Minister's Office today intervened to ensure an open tendering process. The CEO of the Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC), Ajoy Sharma, had objected to the tender being restrictive and favouring a particular firm.

from The Tribune

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