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State asks department secretaries and officials to be present during monsoon session

State department secretaries and other government officials will have to be punctual in attending the three week-long monsoon session of the Maharashtra legislature beginning July 24.

In a five page notification issued on Monday, the government has laid down dos and don’ts for its staff while asking them to take the proceedings quite seriously. The message was loud and clear and it hinted at a stern action against absentees. Department secretaries have been specifically told to be present in the officers’ gallery to share information instantaneously.

The move comes against the backdrop of incidents that took place in the past wherein ministers were grilled for want of adequate information by the ruling and Opposition members. Besides, the government faces an awkward situation after the presiding officers in the State Assembly or Council withhold questions, calling attention motions or postpone debates due to lack of sufficient data.

In order to avoid such goof-ups on the floor of the House, the government in its notification has made it amply clear that all department secretaries and the staff concerned should in advance submit notes online and offline to the ministers and also to the secretaries of state legislature.

An officer from the department of legislative affairs told DNA: “The departments have been asked to submit well within time the reply to calling attention motions. Besides, they will have to file statements on calling attention motions which could not come up for discussion, before the conclusion of the session. More importantly, the departments have been told to give priority for tabling annual reports of the state undertakings without any delay, and if it will be delayed they have been asked to give a detailed explanation to the legislature secretariat.”

He said the passage of Bills after discussion is quite crucial. However, the departments have been asked to make adequate efforts to compile necessary details and prepare a background note for the ministers and ministers of state.

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