24 February 2020 ~ 0 Comments

‘Collector’ to be history?

Historically, since Warren Hastings introduced collectors for revenue collection in the 18th century, the term ‘collector’ has denoted the state’s power in the hinterlands. Since independence, the role of the District Collector has grown even more significant with multiple powers conferred upon the official under numerous Central and state laws on a wide range of subjects. But the term ‘Collector’ may be on its way out in Madhya Pradesh. The Kamal Nath government has constituted a high-level committee to suggest an alternative for the designation of ‘collector’. It believes that due to the multidimensional regulatory and developmental role of the Collector as the administrative and executive head of the district, a new term is needed for the position. Sources say that I.C.P Keshari, Additional Chief Secretary of Commerce Tax Department heads the three-member committee also comprising Malay Kumar Srivastava, Manish Rastogi and Vishesh Garhpale. Preeti Maithil, the district collector of Sagar, is the member secretary of the committee. The panel has been tasked with giving recommendations after consulting all stakeholders, including members of the public. It will also explore the contours of the jurisdiction of the executive head of the district. The new term will be incorporated in the land revenue code and developmental schemes which state the Collector as the district head. However, the police manual, CrPC and Arms Act remain unchanged which ‘District Magistrate’ as the district head and not ‘Collector’.

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