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ACAUT up ante on corruption; resorts to RTI

By EMN Updated: Apr 16, 2014 12:17 am

Principal Correspondent

AGAINST Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Nagaland today launched its anti-corruption movement against the state government departments by filing the first two Right to Information (RTI) applications in Personnel and Administrative Reforms (P&AR) Department and Rural Development Department at Civil Secretariat.Talking with media-persons after filing of RTI, Convener of ACAUT RTI Cell, Dr. Khekugha Muru said that the move is not against any particular individual or department but the RTI applications have been filed in order to know the actual functioning of the government departments.
“We are against corruption and if corruption is found we will not leave any block, district and state level government departments,” he said.
Asserting that RTI applications will be filed in all the departments in phase manner, he however said applications have been filed as the first step in the two departments considering the seriousness of grievances expressed by the grassroots level people during the first phase of statewide tour of ACAUT conducted recently.
He said that though the central government has given 100 man days for villagers through the MGNREGA, the actual implementation has been 38-58 man days while funds have not been reaching the actual beneficiaries.
He also highlighted that during the tour some of the villagers also revealed that the state government in 2013 had asked the village authorities to take loan and carry on the developmental works, which the villages had implemented but now the state government has not been sanctioning the loan amount.
“On papers the funds have already been paid but it is not reaching the people at the grassroots level,” he quipped.
Therefore, through the RTI, ACAUT has sought information on district wise total amount sanctioned and actual amount disbursed for the last five years. It has also asked the details number of working days payment of wages for last five years.
On filing the application in P&AR department, he said it was necessitated because there are thousands of educated unemployed youth in the state, who are not the opportunity to serve the people because of rampant backdoor appointments.
He said just last year the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) had disclosed over 700 backdoor appointments being made in various government departments.
Expressing that it is hardly a countable number of vacancies which are filled through competitive exam under NPSC or through departmental interviews, he lamented that there is no transparency in appointment of government employees while the aspiring educated youths are not given the opportunity.
“We want the appointments are made after holding examinations through NPSC or Departmental Committees and not random backdoor appointment by any individual,” he said.
In this regard, ACAUT has asked the total number of government employees in the state; appointments made under Class-I, II (Gazetted), II (non-Gazetted), III and IV posts in the last five years and their break-ups. Number of appointments made through NPSC in last five years; departmental recruitments for Class I and II, both gazetted and non-gazetted, posts and Grade III and Grade IV posts during last five years.
Convener of ACAUT Legal Cell, Kezhokhoto Savi expressed the hope that the two departments would take the RTI seriously and furnish the reply accordingly.
Nevertheless, he said that even if the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Department fails to furnish the details within 30 days, ACAUT will take up the matter with Appellate Authority of the Department, than with Chief Information Commission of Nagaland and if needed take the matter even to the Court.
He also said that the applications have been filed as ACAUT has lost the hope on the state government. Nonetheless, he said that information is power and ACAUT will take further steps only after getting information from the departments.
Convener of ACAUT Information and Publicity Cell, Mar Longkumer said filing of RTI will be a turning point towards doing away with corruption in the state.
Co-chairperson of ACAUT Nagaland, Joel Kath said that the anti-corruption movement is to tackle corruption at both levels that is the state government and the underground groups.

RD Department without PIO
MEANWHILE, ACAUT members expressed unhappiness about the delay of government employees reaching the office as they went to Rural Development Department in State Secretariat there was hardly any staff today.
On approaching one of the staff present, they were informed that the officials were yet to reach office. The staff also informed the ACAUT members that the department does not have Public Information Officer (PIO) as no officer has been appointed after the retirement of the previous PIO.
However, they submitted the RTI to the RD staff present to be handed over to the concern authority of the Department.

ACAUT asks CS to arrest Apr 9 culprits
AGAINST Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) Nagaland today appealed to the Chief Secretary of Nagaland, Banuo Z. Jamir to nab the NSCN(K) cadres involved attacking its member Abea Meru on April 9 evening in Kohima. ACAUT members submitted the representation at the Chief Secretary’s office today demanding that NSCN (K) cadres involved in the shootout be nabbed immediate and initiate appropriate action be initiated.

By EMN Updated: Apr 16, 2014 12:17:57 am