Karnataka government’s proposal to abolish offices of regional commissioners, as per one of the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission-2, is facing opposition by some organisations and former bureaucrats on the ground that it is against the spirit of decentralization, reports The Hindu.
According to the story published in The Hindu, R Ashok, Revenue Minister, has said that there is a proposal to abolish the four regional commissioner offices in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Belagavi and Kalaburagi to reduce unnecessary expenses and redeploy staff to various vacant posts.
Belagavi, also houses of the Regional Commissioner’s office and Aditya Amlan Biswas is currently serving as the Regional Commissioner.
The Regional commissioner has various powers and functions like general supervision over departments at the regional level. Receive public grievances and hear appeals against lower-level officers.
In Belagavi as well, citizen have raised issues with the RC on various occasion including the works related to Smart city, where the RC himself gave spot visits and asked for the rectification of the works as needed.
Vijay Bhaskar, ARC chairman and former Chief Secretary, argued that increased use of technology and e-governance tools and appointment of in-charge secretaries and in-charge ministers had reduced the need for supervisory officers. “Things have changed and we need a more agile system with lesser levels of governance,” he said, The Hindu story adds.
The Powers and Functions of the Regional Commissioner as per Government Order dated:08-09-2005 are as noted below;
· Maintenance of staff, development, training and human esources of the Revenue Department.
· District, Subdivision, Taluka, Hobali and Village level Revenue accounts, maintenance of audited accounts, annual inspection, surprise inspections and compulsory annual Jamabandhi.
· The powers of Divisional Commissioner previously exercised under various Rules and Sub-Rules. (Appeal and Revision)
· Stamps and Registration fee, Land survey and Land records, Supervision of works related to administration of Endowment offices.
· Inspecting Authority – Inspection of subordinate offices as regards their functioning as per Law, Government instructions and related orders.
· Supervision of natural disasters and drought relief works and their control besides crop harvest experiments and waving of land revenue.
· Supervision of all types of elections in the division.
· Land sanction, Land acquisition, Land improvement, Collection of land tax, Measurement of lands and Supervision of Computerization of Revenue Department.
· Release of grants to District offices, Sub-Divisions and Taluka offices, Annual budget preparation, preparing answers to Legislative Assembly/Council questions and making reports to Sub-Committees of Legislation and Inspection of cases pending in Courts.
· Review of Inspection of all developmental works of all Government offices coming under their jurisdiction at least once in a month.
· To initiate action for non achievement of financial and physical target and discuss the same with concerned Head of the Depts., Secretaries and Principal Secretaries to take suitable action to achieve the targets
· In addition, Inspection of Development Departments, vestigations and review if necessary.