Updated: March 27, 2021 10:31:22 pm
The Registrar General of Indi (RGI) has turned down a request of the Assam government t continue financial support for completing pending work of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) beyond March 31 this year Taking strong exception to the “inordinate delay” in completion of the entire exercise, the office of the RGI in letter suggested to the state government to terminate the services of “surplus staff” and hand over the workload t government staff, besides shift the NRC office to a governmentbuilding.
In a letter on March 4, the Assam government ha sought an additional Rs 3.22 crore per month beyond March 3 for completion of the pending NRC activities in addition t the allocated Rs 1,602.66 crore for the entire project.
RGI Joint Director Jaspal Singh said in a letter date March 23 to the Assam government secretary (Home an Political) S R Bhuyan, “All the activities of NRC updating were to be completed within the approved cost of the scheme b 31.03.2021 and there is no further provision of funds for th expenditure made under the scheme beyond 31.03.2021.
“The time and cost for completing the pending work an winding up the project has also not been explained in the proposal. The requirement of software developed for various NRC activities may be assessed and the renewal of software which are not required may be discontinued immediately.”
The letter also said that the requirement of Rs 3.2 crore per month beyond March 31, 2021 “appears to be to high”.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) ha approved the revised estimates of Rs 1,602.66 crore up t December 31, 2019 with a condition that the amount would no be revised further before winding up the entire process b March 31 this year.
While recommending optimum utilisation of financial and human resources, the letter pointed out that surplus staff should be terminated, wherever possible, to cut down on costs.
It may be mentioned that the NRC State Coordinator was repeatedly requested to complete the pending work as per the decision taken in NRC Coordination Committee meetings approved guidelines and SOPs, and the directions of the Supreme Court.
The final NRC, released on August 31, 2019, had found a total of 31,121,004 persons eligible for inclusion in the registry, leaving out 1,906,657 persons.
“The process of issuing rejection slips to those excluded from NRC is yet to start. The NRC Coordination Committee in its meeting held on 30.01.2020 had directed tha the pending work relating to issue of rejection slips should be completed on a mission mode,” Singh said.
The letter also highlighted that the NRC Stat Coordinator in a meeting on July 2 last year had informed that rejection slips would be issued to NRC excludes by the end o December 2020.
“The NRC Coordination Committee has been insisting on since its meeting held on 30th January, 2020 and 2nd July 2020, to complete the activities within the limit of approve budget of Rs 1,6022.66 crore only,” it stressed.
Singh further told the Assam government that the NR Data Centre should be shifted to the state IT department a the earliest to save on costs.
Before publishing the final NRC, the Centre ha extended the time limit for filing of appeals in Foreigners Tribunals, by the excluded persons, from 60 days to 120 days and necessary amendments were made.
However, there was an inordinate delay and n tentative schedule for issuing the rejection slips was announced.
A rejection slip will mention the cause for th exclusion of a person’s name from thpte updated citizenship register.
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