With no key officer, mines dept yet to get off starting block

An industry observer said mining is one sector which can help kickstart the economy, considering the sluggishness that has resulted due to Covid. 

Published: 24th August 2021 05:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2021 05:57 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: While the State Government is looking to boost industry, attract more investments and get the economy back on track, the crucial mining sector has remained directionless with the minister yet to appoint a private secretary. Halappa Achar took over as Mines and Geology Minister about 20 days ago, but his office is still not up and running fully and officials who need to send their e-files are confused about where to send them.

An industry observer said mining is one sector which can help kickstart the economy, considering the sluggishness that has resulted due to Covid. Ministers need to have their offices going right from the word go, and a key figure is the private secretary, usually a bureaucrat, who supports the minister on all issues. An official said that the minister was appointed three weeks ago, but has not named a private secretary.

Sources said  Achar had interviewed many bureaucrats for the role, which the minister too admitted. When contacted, he claimed he had already appointed an officer as private secretary, but did not give out any further details. He told TNIE, “I have appointed an officer, he will take charge soon, maybe even tomorrow.’’ Achar has been allocated a room on the third floor of Vidhana Soudha.

Some other officials pointed out that his office is not yet fully functional while,  the offices of most other ministers are fully functional. Achar said, “I wanted someone who is good and there were a lot of people exerting pressure advising me on whom to appoint. But I wanted to get the right person for the job,’’ he said.

Achar holds both the Mines and Geology and Women and Child Development portfolios. Tourism and Ecology Minister Anand Singh’s office too is still not fully functional as most of the staff are yet to be appointed.

India Matters


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