A cabinet panel headed by PM Manmohan Singh has exempted central ministers from a rule that barred them from retaining their personal staff for more than 10 years. The relaxation is valid only till the next General Elections.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had introduced a new rule in 2010 that prevented ministers from retaining civil servants who had worked in the personal staff of ministers for 10 years.
But it had never been an easy rule to implement since about 20 ministers had asked the Prime Minister for exemption in the last three years. The ACC decided to revise the rule after there was a spike in the number of requests for applications in the last few months.
With the government set to complete 4 out of 5 years, ministers complained to the PM that babus did not want to join them for just one year and pointed out the difficulty in finding replacements.
“They had a point. The ACC found merit in the argument and has issued the orders,” a government source said.
Sources said most beneficiaries of the relaxation were clerks and stenographers, babus who often play a far greater role to smoothen the ride for the minister than the IAS officers.