V P Joy to be Kerala Chief Secretary from March 1

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 10 (PTI) The Kerala governmenton Wednesday decided to appoint Additional Chief Secretary V P Joy as thenext state Chief Secretary with incumbent Vishwas Mehta set to retire on February 28.

A virtual meeting of the cabinet also decided to recommend to the Governor the appointment of General Education Department Secretary A Shahjahan as the State Election Commissioner from March 31.

Joy, a 1987 batch officer who came back to the state cadre recently after central deputation, will take over from incumbent Mehta on March 1 and will hold the top bureaucratic post till June 30, 2023, when he retires.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who met the media here, said the cabinet decided to give effect to the pension reforms in retrospective manner from July 1, 2019 based on the recommendations of the Eleventh Pay Commission.

'It has been decided to give effect to the pension reforms from July 1, 2019. The pay revision will also take effect from the same date. The revised pension will be paid from April 1, 2021. This also applies to part-time pensioners,' he said.

Vijayan said the Mananthavady District Hospital has been upgraded to a Medical College Hospital for the time being. It was decided to set up a Medical College in Wayanad.

The cabinet also decided to give the authority to the local bodies to grant permission for construction or reconstruction of a building for religious purposes and worship.

As of now, the permission of the District Collector was required for such matters, Vijayan said.

It was also decided to recommend eight people for the post of members currently vacant in the Public Service Commission.

'The Cabinet today decided to take stern action against those officials who fail to report vacancies to the PSC. A committee comprising the Chief Secretary and an Additional Chief Secretary will be constituted to ensure that vacancies are reported,' Vijayan added. PTI RRT VS VS