Nation Other News 20 Jul 2016 Decks cleared for VS ...

Decks cleared for VS Achuthanandan posting

Published Jul 20, 2016, 1:30 am IST
Updated Jul 20, 2016, 1:30 am IST
VS Achuthanandan
 VS Achuthanandan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Bill, 2006, was passed in the Assembly on Tuesday with the opposition staging a walkout. The amendment paves the way for V.S. Achuthanandan to be appointed as chairman of the fourth Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC). The opposition, which christened the bill ‘V S Achuthanandan Bill”, charged that the amendment was moved merely to douse CPM’s raging internal discord. Congress MLAs, V T Balram and K C Joseph, even expressed doubts whether Achuthanandan, at his age, was up to the task of chairing the ARC.

However, the government gave no hints during the discussion that Achuthanandan would be considered for the post. “This amendment is to remove the threat of disqualification on the grounds of ‘office of profit’ for any member of the House who might be chosen as the chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission,” said parliamentary affairs minister A.K. Balan. Nonetheless, sources said the cabinet meeting on July 20 would take a decision on Achuthanandan's appointment as the ARC chairman.

Mr Balan said that the fourth ARC would suggest ways to reform governance in a world drastically altered by information technology. “It has been over two decades since the last ARC submitted its report and much has changed in the way we govern, especially with the advent of information technology,” Balan said.

Essentially, Balan said that the ARC would provide detailed inputs to speed up administrative decision making and render governance accessible to the common man. He said it was the recommendations of the third ARC that prepared the ground for decentralisation in the state.  The opposition members also questioned why a financial memorandum was not included in the bill.

“The post will definitely entail some cost,” V T Balram said. Balan said that either a new amendment Bill would be tabled for the expenditure involved or the money would be passed through an executive order. “The Law Department’s opinion will be sought on the issue,” the minister said.

Location: India, Kerala


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