The general administration department (GAD) of the Maharashtra government has written to more than 10 ministers to repatriate about 18 officers working with them as personal assistants (PA), secretaries (PS) or officers on special duty (OSD).
These officers have served in the ministerial establishment at some point in the past 10 years, when the Congress-NCP was in power.
The BJP-led government issued a government resolution (GR) in November last year stating that the officers to be appointed as personal assistants, secretaries or officers on special duty in the new government should not have served in these capacities with the previous ministers in past 10 years.
Despite of this and an order by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to implement this in letter and spirit, the ministers have been appointing officers who have served in the previous governements.
The GAD, which is headed by Fadnavis, has once again reminded the ministers to repatriate the officers that do not fulfill the norms.
“About 20 officers, who were not fulfilling the criterion, have already opted to go back to their parent departments in past three months. However, we have identified 18 officers who have continued working with the ministers. Chief minister’s office (CMO) has three to four officers who have served as personal assistants, secretaries or officers on special duty earlier,” said an officer from GAD.
“Senior ministers including Eknath Khadse, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Diwakar Raote, Ramdas Kadam and Eknath Shinde have officers working in their departments, who do not fulfill these norms,” he added.
The CMO, meanwhile, has around 77 officers, who have served in the ministerial establishment at some point of time, in the past 10 years. “However, the CMO has contended that most of them have not been appointed in the capacity of PAs / PS’ /OSDs and so there was no need to repatriate them,” said an officer from GAD.
The officer added: “Some of them have served as PAs / PS’ /OSDs in the past and, as per the provision of the GR, they are not fit to serve in the CMO”
“The stand taken by Fadnavis while issuing the GR was clear; he did not want to continue the old officers as it would hamper the secrecy and to avoid leakage of the information. Secondly, the service rules clearly state that no officer should serve in the same position for more than five years,” said an officer from the CMO
He added that the CM was determined about the implementation of the GR in letter and spirit and so he turned down personal requests made by two senior ministers for retention of the officers.
Sumit Mulick, additional chief secretary of the GAD, said, “Our department is implementing the GR issued by the government.”