He is the 33rd Chief Secretary of the State

Kaushik Mukherjee on Thursday assumed charge as the 33 Chief Secretary.

Outgoing Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath handed over charge to Mr. Mukherjee at the Chief Secretary’s office in the Vidhana Soudha amid congratulations from senior officers of different departments.

Mr. Ranganath, who assumed office in September 2009 retired from service after two extensions — first on the concurrence of the Election Commission (owing to elections to the Legislative Assembly) and then by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after he formed the government.

Addressing presspersons soon after taking charge, Mr. Mukherjee said that “mining in forest areas with permission is legal” and the “Bellary mining scam is a small dot in the country”.

Mining with government’s permission would be allowed in the forest regions of the State. Mining has to be activated to cater to the requirements of the industry which was about 30 million tonnes in the State, he said.

Mr. Mukherjee said that encroachment of government land or forest land was illegal and this would not be tolerated.

Nearly 40,000 hectares of forest land has been encroached upon, the Chief Secretary said.

Mr. Mukherjee, who was born on September 8, 1955 in Kolkata in West Bengal, said, “The government will take all steps to prevent migration of people from villages to urban areas seeking jobs.”

He would make efforts to increase income of dry land, small and marginal farmers, he said.

Tenure of officials

About the Supreme Court verdict favouring fixed tenure for Indian Administrative Service officers, he said that the verdict is to be followed by both the Union and State governments.

The Supreme Court on Thursday held that bureaucrats should not act on verbal orders given by political bosses and sought an end to frequent transfers and suggested a fixed tenure to insulate them from political interference. “I have to study the judgment. But the court verdict has to be implemented. Transfer of officials is one of the administrative functions to ensure efficiency,” he said. The Supreme Court said that Parliament must enact a law to regulate postings, transfers and disciplinary action against bureaucrats.

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