Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government seem to be ignoring the proposals of the Administrative Reforms Commission chaired by former chief minister VS Achuthanandan
despite incurring a substantial sum for running the body. Government data indicates that Rs 4.5 crore has been already spent for the Commission in the last two-and-a-half years.
The LDF government has ignored three reports submitted by the Commission. These reports are titled Reforms in Vigilance Department, Capacity Development of Civil Servants, and Welfare to Rights – Implementation of Select Legislations – A Review.
The fourth administrative review commission came into effect on August 6, 2016. Though former chief ministers have become commission members, this panel was formed specially to placate VS, the veteran CPM leader, with a high position after he lost the CM's chair to party strongman Pinarayi Vijayan.
Achuthanandan, who is popularly referred to as VS, has so far received a salary of Rs 13 lakh apart from other allowances as the chairman of the Commission. While VS enjoys a cabinet rank, two commission members – former chief secretaries CP Nair and Neela Gangadharan – have powers equivalent those of the chief secretary.
A dozen-strong personal staff for VS
VS’s personal staff members include 1 private secretary, 1 assistant private secretary, 2 personal assistants, 1 stenographer, 4 clerks, 2 drivers and 1 cook. He enjoys all the benefits of a minister, including an official residence.
Though his monthly salary is Rs 1,000, the chairman earns over a lakh of rupees through allowances.
Commission member Nair gets a monthly honorarium of Rs 75,000 apart from his pension, enjoys daily, travel batta and privileges of a chief secretary at government rest-guest houses. He gets Rs 2,500 per sitting and an official vehicle from the tourism department.
Part-time member Neela, based in Bangalore, gets a salary of Rs 35,000 and allowance of Rs 10,000. She too enjoys daily and travel batta similar to that of a chief secretary in addition to Rs 2,500 per sitting. Official vehicle is provided by the tourism department.
Seventeen people, including five temporary appointees, are employed in the commission.They are: 1 additional secretary, 1 deputy collector, 1 section officer, 3 assistants, 2 confidential assistants (Malayalam), 1 confidential assistant (English), 3 office attendants (temporary), 1 data entry operator and 1 driver.
The Commission, which is based at Vikas Bhavan’s AKG campus, was formed to evaluate and propose reforms in the LDF Government’s policies and functioning.