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Cabinet approves reform policies

Our Bureau

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Oct. 1

THE Kerala Cabinet has given in-principle approval to the State's reform policies, including the Modernising Government Programme which features prominently in the proposed loan from the Asian Development Bank.

The Chief Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, told newspersons after the Cabinet meeting that talks with ADB for availing of the loan were in an advanced stage.

The first tranche is expected to be made available by November this year.

Mr Antony, however, made it clear that the Government would not accept all the demands put up by ADB and the Government was moving very cautiously in this regard.

Referring to reforms, he said that the Government would hold extensive discussions with political parties, local bodies and trade unions before implementing them.

The reforms include e-governance, re-deployment of surplus Government staff, abolishing unnecessary posts in a phased manner, recast of public sector undertakings and reforms in the electricity, administrative and financial sectors.

The Cabinet also decided to set up a new committee for the selection of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC).

The Chief Minister said that the recommendations of the earlier committee could not be accepted as they were not legally tenable.

"The new committee would be asked to submit the report within a month," he added.

Another decision of the Cabinet pertains to the appointment of the former Chief Secretary, Mr V. Krishnamurthy, as the Executive Chairman of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).

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