“Revenue Officials to be permitted to hire vehicles as per their entitlement”- says Revenue Minister GS Kangar

Chandigarh: The Revenue Officers would be permitted to hire vehicles for official use as per their entitlement assured Revenue Minister GS Kangar, in a meeting with representatives of Punjab Revenue Officers Association at Punjab Civil Secretariat here today.

The office bearers of the Association brought home the fact that only 10% of the Tehsildars /Naib Tehsiladars offices have the official vehicles while the rest are performing duty in their own vehicles. Field duty is a part and parcel of their job so official vehicles are mandatory, they asserted. The Minister reciprocated affirmatively to their demand.

“The Revenue Officers of the State are performing their regular duties as well as the additional COVID19 duties under extremely challenging circumstances. Their genuine demands must be met,” said the Minister while directing FCR to moot the proposal for hiring vehicles.

The members also raised the need of security personnel to be deputed with Executive Magistrates on duty. “Many a time we come across unruly elements while performing sensitive/non sensitive/routine duty. Waiting for police to turn up on the spot is not always practically possible,” said they.

The idea of a security guard with each official is not practical; however, it would be taken up with the DGP Punjab to deploy one policeman in each Tehsil/sub tehsil who would accompany the Tehsildar/Naib Tehsildar in field, as the need be said Revenue Minister.

Gurdev Singh Dham, President Punjab Revenue Officers Association asserted that the decisions taken by revenue officials , quasi-judicial in nature must not be subject to Police /vigilance inquiry ; the Revenue Department being the Appellate Authority may review the cases and take necessary action if the need be. The Minister lent a sympathetic ear to the grievance and assured that Revenue Department is all in support of its officials and will back every decision taken in right earnest.

The association also sought sticking to old rules of department whereby after promotion the officer concerned had to pass departmental exam with a minimum 50% score which has been recently increased to 66% as in case of IAS Officers. They also asked for the exam pattern to be changed to Objective type(MCQ) in place of lengthy Subjective question/answers. Their demand was considered as genuine and the Minister asked the department to look into the possibility of Revision in Departmental Promotional Exam pattern and pass percentage.

In the meanwhile, Ms. Vini Mahajan Chief Secretary Punjab who also joined the meeting along with Ravneet Kaur FCR and Manvesh Sidhu Secretary Revenue, attended the meeting to resolve the impending issues of the Revenue Officers so that they may withdraw their ongoing partial strike and resume the Executive Magisterial duties and Court Work at the earliest supported their genuine demands.

She reiterated the need to strengthen the Revenue department with recruitment of Legal Literates to assist the Revenue Officials in court work and also informed that as soon as COVID scenario improves the process of recruitment of Patwaris would be put on fast track. She also suggested need for better equipment /internet connectivity/cloud space for improving the performance of NGDRS system. Refurbishment of record rooms was also suggested. The Chief Secretary directed FCR to put up a case for dedicated fund for each tehsil for meeting the emergent expenses without burdening the revenue officers with hospitality or any other expenses. To build the morale of officers, the Chief Secretary suggested adequate commendation / appreciation of revenue officers doing praiseworthy work.