The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to urge the Centre to amend the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notifications to remove difficulties caused to fishermen living in the coastal areas of the State.

Minister for Information and Culture K. C. Joseph told the media after a Cabinet meeting that the Cabinet had discussed the issue in detail and felt that the regulations needed to be changed in view of the special circumstances existing in the coastal areas of the State. Discussions would be held with officials and others about the specifics.

The Minister said the Cabinet had proposed to clear up pending files at the Secretariat and offices of heads of departments in a time-bound manner. Files pending for more than three years would be cleared in 100 days as part of an intensive drive. The Chief Secretary would give directions on clearing them on a rationale basis with due regard to law.

A study conducted by the government had showed that only 25 per cent of files received at the Secretariat had been disposed till February 2014. At the offices of the heads of departments, disposal rate was only 16 per cent.

Mr. Joseph said the government had expressed dissatisfaction over ‘slow’ disbursement of wages to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by the nodal agency State Bank of India. Though government had deposited Rs. 387 crore with the SBI on April 9, it had so far disbursed only Rs. 175 crore.

The government would consider appointing more banks as nodal agencies for disbursement of wages in view of the problems with SBI.

Asked about the amicus curiae report on the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple assets, Mr. Joseph said that the government had no comment to make at this stage since the matter is now pending before the Supreme Court.

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