Bajwa raises questions over civil service board for IAS transfers
Says the setting up of the “all-powerful” board under the chief secretary can had ruffled the feelings of many Congress MPs and MLAs in the state, particularly since cabinet ministers were recently “humiliated” by the chief secretary. He further wrote that the bureaucracy will now become much less answerable and accountable.Updated: Jun 21, 2020 19:48 IST
Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday raised questions over the Amarinder Singh government’s decision to set up a three-member civil services board (CSB) for transfers and postings of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the state.
In a letter to the chief minister, Bajwa said the setting up of the board under the chief secretary (CS) had ruffled the feelings of many Congress MPs and MLAs in the state. “The timing of your move is ominous. Just when cabinet ministers have been humiliated by the chief secretary, you have set up an all-powerful CSB to ensure that bureaucracy becomes much less answerable and accountable...this has sent a disturbing and negative signal to already demoralised elected representatives,” he wrote in a two-page letter.
The Punjab government issued the notification for the three-member CSB on June 2. HT was the first to report on the constitution of the board and the detailed procedure laid down by the state government for postings and transfers of IAS officers before completion of two-year tenure.
The notification is based on an order issued by the Union ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions on January 28, 2014, when the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was in power. It was aimed at providing stability of tenure and checking political interference. In October 2013, the Supreme Court had mandated minimum tenure for bureaucrats. Punjab is the 20th state to adopt these rules.
Bajwa, in his letter, said many states, including Punjab, had not set up CSB and successive governments had decided not to set it up for many years till now, but the state bureaucracy had now staged a coup through the June 2 order to render the ministers and MLAs helpless in raking up neglected issues of public importance.