Published On: Sun, Sep 16th, 2018

Centre refuses copy of note sheets on MP chief secretary’s extension

Bhopal: The Centre has refused to share a copy of note sheets related to six-month extension to Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Basant Pratap Singh, citing a provision of RTI Act that bars disclosure of “third party” information.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Basant Pratap Singh got six-month extension from July to December 2018.

Singh was in late June given six-month extension, till December this year, as the chief secretary of the state in the poll year.

“It is also to state that note sheets and all other correspondence involved third party information under Right to Information (RTI) Act,” the Ministry of Personnel said in a reply to an RTI query filed by activist Ajay Dubey.

Dubey said he would file an appeal against the denial as transparency at the highest level was very important.

However, the Personnel Ministry has shared a noting of the Prime Minister’s Office that mentions a note (seeking extension) sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April this year by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Chouhan, in his letter to the prime minister, supported Singh’s continuance in the post citing key pro-farmer initiatives being taken by his government among other reasons.

“Presently, State has embarked on major policy path to provide relief to farmers and unorganised labourers. Basant Pratap Singh is leading the initiative to stabilise ‘Bhawantar Bhugtan Yojana’ which aims to ensure remunerative price for agriculture produce and ‘Asangatith Mazdoor Suraksha Yojana’ which will cover almost 1.5 crore workers in the state. His continuation shall provide stability and sustainability to the new initiative, the chief minister said in the communique.

Chouhan had sought six-month extension from July to December 2018 through the letter dated April 7, 2018.

The Personnel Ministry extended Singh’s term after two months of receiving the Madhya Pradesh chief minister’s letter to the prime minister by issuing an order dated June 22.

Singh, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was appointed the chief secretary in November 2016.

The extension in a poll year is second such instance. Earlier in 2013, R Parasuram was given extension in service.

The Madhya Pradesh elections are due in November this year.

PTI

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