‘Attending office seems to have become an option, and with this kind of attitude how can we serve our people,’ questioned Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy

Kohima: Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy on Wednesday directed all departments under the state government to strictly implement ‘No work, No pay’ to its erring employees expressing dismay over the poor attendance at government offices.

“Attending office seems to have become an option, and with this kind of attitude how can we serve our people?” questioned Toy at the administrative heads of department/ heads of department (AHOD/HODs) meeting held at the Secretariat Conference Hall in Kohima on Wednesday.

Toy expressed his disappointment citing that most government servants serve their own interests. “This was evident from the fact that more than 75-80% of all Cabinet agenda pertained to service matters, be it promotion or upgradation of posts. This speaks volumes of the priority of government servants,” he added.

Toy highlighted that many of the senior officers are not attending offices even after two weeks of office resumption. He pointed that the responsibility also lies with the senior officers and that unless they are disciplined, they cannot expect the subordinates to be regular and punctual. He then directed for the strict maintenance of casual leave account in all offices, starting from the Secretariat to the district and sub-divisional offices.

“Unless we become amenable to rules, there is no future. Government servants think we are on a higher pedestal and that we are above shouldering responsibilities which have actually been entrusted on us”, he said.

He pondered if the senior officers have any moral authority to impose discipline on subordinate officers and staff when they themselves were setting bad examples. He went on to say that under the present circumstances, it is embarrassing to even call oneself a public servant.

Toy, therefore, directed all departments to strictly implement ‘No Work, No Pay’ for erring employees. Toy also highlighted on the pathetic maintenance of public property raising a concerns over the way it is maintained saying that although government servants are expected to uphold the rule of law, this is visibly absent.

He then urged all employees to positively and constructively reflect on the harsh reality that existed within the government.

He informed that the fifth session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly which was earlier scheduled on February 7 is preponed to January 17 in view of the requirement of the State Assembly to ratify the 126th Amendment of the Constitution and asked all the AHoDs and HoDs to be prepared to furnish timely replies to Assembly Questions. He also pointed about the poor attendance of Officers in the Assembly, particularly during the afternoon sessions.

Toy directed all DDOs to submit monthly expenditure statement to the finance department on a regular basis as the budget allocations are made based on it. He also informed that a workshop on GeM will be conducted on January 17 at 10 am at the Conference Hall of the directorate of treasuries & accounts.

Saying that government servants’ salaries alone, without pensions, amounted to almost 50% of the total revenue expenditure, he emphasised that it was high time that some contribution was made by government servants towards development. Towards this, effective 2020-21, a mechanism was being contemplated for contribution from monthly salaries to be kept in a special account for development works, wherein, a special audit will be constituted for this particular account.

“Attending office seems to have become an option, and with this kind of attitude how can we serve our people?” questioned Toy.

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