Illustration By Sandemo Ngullie
Morung Express News
Dimapur | June 15
Never before has the Government of Nagaland set 100-days’ governance targets. No surprise that its officers were in a spin when asked about these targets on the 98th day of governance.
The Morung Express thus resorted to asking some basic questions about targets the People’s Democratic Alliance government had set for itself.
Were the assets of elected members, their spouses and other high ranking government officers made public in the first 100 days, as proposed? Was the performance of each minister monitored and informed to the public, as proposed? Did every department achieve its 100 days policies and programs and set new deadlines?
“All departments have been asked to initiate some programs within 100 days of installation of the new government,” acknowledged a senior bureaucrat. However, “Nagas do things at the fag end of the deadline so all departments doing something only now,” was also a concurrent acknowledgment.
The discussion also bordered on how information related to assets of elected representatives and their spouses are already available publicly in the form of affidavits filed before elections. Perhaps they wanted to make it more readily and publicly available to the people through a more accessible format?
The bureaucrat referred us to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) for answers as “everything is being monitored by the CMO.”
At the CMO, the barrage of press secretaries, assistant press secretaries, media officers attached to the CM had no clue. Or, “we are not authorized to speak,” said one of them.
At the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, when the new government presented the budget, it had sworn to provide “good governance, transparency and accountability.”
But even on the 98th day, employees at the CM’s office remained either unaware or unauthorized to speak. The Commissioner & Secretary to the CM, Abhishek Singh, did not reply to messages or respond to repeated calls. Advisor to the CM, Abu Metha, did not respond to text messages either. So much for transparency and accountability.
One person had some answers, the Director of the Government of Nagaland’s Directorate of Information & Publicity (DIPR), Limawati Ao.
“The DIPR has translated welfare schemes under existing flagship programs of different departments into local Naga languages. We will publish these in 16 different recognized local languages in the form of booklets and send it to concerned linguistic area,” said the DIPR Director by way of his Directorate’s 100 days’ target.
Some of the schemes included in these translations are old age pension scheme, scheme for handicapped, eklavya model residential school, employees insurance scheme under labour department, etc.