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Monday, July 06, 2020

Comprehensive grievance redressal policy to bring all depts under one roof

In the absence of a clearly defined policy for grievance resolution, various departments were till now operating and maintaining their individual systems to receive and redress grievances from citizens.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 23, 2020 12:48:08 pm
Comprehensive grievance redressal policy to bring all depts under one roof The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh here. (File)

Punjab on Monday approved a comprehensive public grievance redressal policy, paving the way for the creation and management of a public grievance redressal system (PGRS), to bring the mechanisms of all departments under one umbrella, within the ambit of “digital Punjab”.

The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh here. “There is currently no single interface for citizens to register their grievances with the government, which necessitated the formulation of a comprehensive policy,” said an official statement.

In the absence of a clearly defined policy for grievance resolution, various departments were till now operating and maintaining their individual systems to receive and redress grievances from citizens. PBGRAMS, a legacy system, is also being used by multiple departments for this purpose, but it lacks a standardised workflow for redressal and has no proper timelines for resolution of delivery and accountability to departments.

The new policy provides for establishment of a clear standardised workflow for grievance redressal, assigns timelines to each officer in the workflow, enables citizens to submit their feedback on the resolution provided, escalates grievances to higher authorities, and allows for analysis of the collected data for evidence-based decision making.

The Department of Governance Reforms and Public Grievances has created an IT portal for PGRS and proposes to onboard all the departments on ii.

OTS scheme for PSIDC, PFC loanees extended

To give relief to businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cabinet decided to extend the one-time settlement of their dues with the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) and Punjab Financial Corporation till December 31.

The CM said the move was necessary as industries needed support in these difficult times.

The policy will give the entrepreneurs of promoted and loanee companies one-time opportunity for settlement of their dues with PSIDC and PFC, and will help them recover Rs 10 crore and Rs 2 crore, respectively.

The move would help in releasing the blocked industrial investment and assets and enable the state to put the same to productive use for the revival of the existing industries, which had been shut down after the lockdown in March, said a government statement here. It would also help in reducing litigation with respect to loans.

The decision to extend the OTS has been taken in view of the problems being faced by companies and collaborators on account of the lockdown and economic slowdown triggered by the pandemic. They were finding it difficult to pay the instalments due to PSIDC/PFC and had requested for extension for repayment.

The Union Ministry of Finance has already issued instructions to the RBI to give deferment of six months in repayment of loan instalments. However, the interest for the period of delay is being recovered.

Besides giving ex-post facto approval for the applications received for OTS of equity and loans after the expiry of OTS Policy-2018 on March 5, 2019, the Cabinet has extended the outer date of repayment from two years to two-and-a-half years, an official spokesperson said.

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