TAMIL NADU

Streamlining of administration on the cards, says YSR

HYDERABAD, MARCH 17. The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, is planning to overhaul the administration to make it more effective and responsive to people's needs.

Addressing a press conference here today along with the APCC chief, K. Keshava Rao, to thank the people for making the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi's public meeting on Wednesday a success, he said the changes in the bureaucracy would be based on a SWOT analysis of the individual departments.

Dr. Reddy said the overhauling "from top to bottom, including the Chief Minister's Office," would be done by the first week of May. He said he would not brook any inefficiency or casual approach on the part of officials. "It will be difficult for the non-serious officials from now on. I have studied every wing of the administration during the last ten months. Perhaps, our inexperience gave rise to the feeling that we do not have a proper hold on the administration," he said. He said he would give no room for such lapses henceforth. The Congress Government would redeem all its election promises and it was trying to ensure better connectivity with the people.

Peace talks

Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy said Ms. Sonia Gandhi had endorsed his programmes and policies "in toto." There was no ambiguity in his approach to the naxalites too. The Government believed in non-violence and the rule of law.

Maoists should come forward for the second round of talks on discarding weapons. The talks must be "meaningful, purposeful and result-oriented."

On the demand by a section of policemen to re-impose the ban on the CPI (Maoist), he said the Government was studying "all situations carefully and was committed to negotiations as of now."

Referring to the row over naming the international airport, he said the TDP's resolve to change its name if returned to power exposed its lack of respect for democratic conventions and norms. However, the TDP need not entertain illusions of getting re-elected since the massive "Jalayagnam" (development of irrigation potential) would keep it out of power.

Priorities

Dr. Reddy said his party held the "victory rally" only to reinvent the priorities and to assure people publicly that all promises would be kept. There was no need for any misgivings about the free power promise as modifications would affect hardly 7 per cent of the farm consumers. As for the old age pensions, he said there would be a progressive increase in the number of beneficiaries every year.

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