House panel urges President to act against Delhi LG, chief secretary

New Delhi: The petitions committee of the Delhi Assembly on Thursday tabled two reports in the House and recommended appropriate action to the President and the Union Home Ministry against the Delhi Lieutenant Governor and Chief Secretary for “creating an atmosphere of fear among departments”. . Delhi government and officials are being prevented from performing their duties”.

The reports, copies of which were accessed by HT, include Director, Social Welfare; Secretary, Health and Principal Secretary Finance for “deliberate delay” in executing government projects.

AAP MLAs staged a sit-in in the Delhi Assembly premises on Thursday demanding the suspension of the Chief Secretary and the Secretaries of Health and Finance departments for allegedly obstructing the work of the Delhi government at the behest of Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena.

The LG’s office and the chief secretary did not respond to a request for comment.

Chairman of the Petitions Committee, Akhilesh Pati Tripathi, submitted two reports—“Sudden stoppage of pension to old citizens in Delhi”, and “Conspiracy by officials to sabotage the functioning of Mohalla clinics at the behest of the LG of Delhi”. The reports were subsequently adopted by the House.

AAP leaders have alleged that services are being sabotaged at mohalla clinics and disbursement of old age pension to over 4.1 lakh beneficiaries allegedly as part of a “conspiracy to instigate people against AAP ahead of December 4 MCD elections”. was interrupted.

As per reports, the committee received several representations from the people and examined the issues between December 12, 2022 and January 17, 2023. The report said that the House panel also questioned the officials concerned and recorded their statements during the course of probing the issues. ,

Tripathi said, “The LG had directed the officials to stop all government functions in the city. Being aware of the fact that the people of Delhi had rejected them, the BJP used the LG to intimidate officials and withhold pensions of those who depended on it for their daily lives. The Finance Secretary, the Social Welfare Secretary and the Director of the Social Welfare Department, citing the need to reform the system, have deliberately delayed the release of pensions, while causing extreme hardship to the vulnerable elderly population.

The government gives a pension of ₹2,000 to those below 70 years of age and ₹2,500 to those above 70 years of age.

According to reports, the committee has asked Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to take action against the Director of Social Welfare. However, during questioning by the committee, the chief secretary denied suggestions that he was hand in glove with officials to create hurdles in the functioning of the government’s welfare schemes, said reports.

None of the officials named in the report on pensions were available for comment despite HT’s repeated attempts.

In the mohalla clinics report, the committee has recommended the chief secretary to take action against Health Secretary Amit Singhla and Principal Secretary (Finance) Ashish Chandra Verma for processing files and releasing funds for clinic services and payment of remuneration. There is “intentional delay” in doing so. To the doctors

None of the officials named in the report were available for comment.

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, a member of the committee, said, “A few months before the MCD elections, the salaries of the doctors and nursing staff of Mohalla clinics were stopped. Funds for free tests were also stopped,” Bhardwaj said, adding that the health department had funds of Rs 70 crore, yet it did not release funds for salaries.

The committee has also recommended allowing the Delhi Assembly to live telecast proceedings of committees and upload videos for greater transparency.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said that there is nothing new in the report of the petition committee. The AAP government had called this session of the Assembly to pass a resolution against the LG and the Chief Secretary for stopping their anarchic agenda.