The audit branch of the state finance department is currently witnessing a massive shake-up, with as many as 110 West Bengal Audit & Accounts Service officers already transferred in three phases over the last two months.
Even as finance department officials have sought to dub the wave of transfers as routine and in the interest of public service, highly placed sources claimed that the move is aimed at breaking the vested interest established by a section of officials over the course of managing long years of posting in the respective positions in the department.
“This is just the beginning and more such transfers are on the cards in the coming days. And such reshuffles wouldn’t just be restricted to the audit branch but would also be enforced in other branches of the finance department, namely state excise, commercial tax, and registration & stamp revenue among others,” a senior state finance department official told HT.
The first transfer order was issued July 27 by way of which the department transferred 57 WBAAS officers, followed by the transfer of another 16 officers by an order dated August 21.
On September 7, the audit branch of the finance department issued a fresh transfer order of 37 WBAAS officers, taking the total transfers to 110 in less than two months.
Veterans in the state finance department said that they couldn’t recall any earlier precedent of so many transfers in a single department and that too in such a short span of time.
Sources further said that while issuing the transfer orders, the department was mindful to avoid handing transfers to officials near or adjacent to his current posting as far as possible. There are also instances of officers transferred to Malda from Kolkata, Durgapur from Birbhum, Serampore from Purulia and East Midnapore from Balurghat among others.