Cabinet reshuffle prompts revamp of House panels

Deputy Speaker Nominates New Chairmen, Members For Committees

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Jan 30: In the wake of recent cabinet reshuffle, the House Committees formed on various subjects, some of them dealing with serious issues, have faced major revamp as heads of most of such committees have been either given the ministerial berths.
Interestingly, some of the legislators who were members of the House Committees have also been given ministerial status forcing the deputy speaker Muhammad Sartaj Madni to nominate members for the vacant places on priority basis.
Pertinently, in the absence of Speaker, Madni is presently dealing with the matters in the Assembly.
Secretary Legislative Assembly, Muhammad Ramzan said there are at least 12 House Committees on various subjects and issues. “Since the chairmen of some of the committees were inducted in the cabinet, the committees fell short of heads,” he said. “Plus, some of the legislators who were members of the respective committees were also given ministerial status. The deputy speaker has nominated the chairmen for the committees that had become headless and also replaced the members, who were given ministerial berths.”
He said the committee on encroachment of wetlands and illegal constructions, headed by MLA Kupwara Mir Saifullah would also get a new chairman. “Since Saifullah Sahab is now the Law Minister, there has to be someone else to head the committee on wetlands,” Ramzan said.
Some of the committees that would get new heads include Estimates Committee, Public Undertaking Committee (PUC) and Assurance Committee. “Some of the committees needed new chairmen following the fact that those who were heading them were inducted in the council of ministers. I have nominated the legislators to head the respective committees,” the deputy speaker told Greater Kashmir. He said the committees that fell short of members have also got new members.
The Secretary Legislative Assembly said the House Committees, however, have been asked not to conduct on spot inspection of construction sites and government offices from February 1 in view of the upcoming budget session. “Focus has to be on the smooth conduct of the budget session that will commence from February 28. Once the session ends, the committees can resume on spot inspections,” he said.
Sources said almost all committees are significant in nature as their efforts prove as an effective tool to streamline functioning of government departments, to check corruption, and to improve governance in the State. “The House Committees don’t only detect the loopholes but also suggest remedial measures,” sources said.
The committee on encroachment of wetlands and conversion of residential areas into commercial earlier headed by NC MLA Mir Saifullah (now Law Minister), had sought a report from the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Srinagar Development Authority last year about the illegal constructions in Srinagar. The committee, according to the sources, was supposed to recommend action against the defaulters in its final report which was under process. Sources said what remains to be seen is how the new chairman would go about the issue.
“All House Committees are very important. They guide the government towards right direction,” said former chairman of Estimates committee, Chowdhary Muhammad Ramzan, who was recently inducted in the new council of Ministers as Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution. He said the HCs also grill the government on certain issues and set a deadline for actions to be taken.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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