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Amid reports that her government’s departments do not send answers to parliamentary questions on time, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to scan and approve all such replies filed by additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries among others before they are submitted, a senior official said.

Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, in a message, has directed the secretaries to send him the replies, which then would be forwarded to the CM for a final nod, the official said on Friday.

“It has come to the government’s notice that replies to the parliamentary questions are not always processed in time. Henceforth, the additional chief secretaries, joint secretaries, secretaries have been asked to submit their replies to the chief secretary.

“He will then forward them to the competent authority, that is the chief minister, for approval,” he stated.

Meanwhile, a retired IAS officer, who had served as the chief secretary of the state, told PTI that it is “possibly the first time a chief minister will be going through the replies of ACS or other secretaries meant to be submitted to Parliament. This can also be a politically-driven decision”.

According to another former bureaucrat, the move was an “unprecedented” one.

“In my 29 years of service, I have not come across such a move. This has never been the practice so far… Quite unusual, I must say,” he added.

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