Proposed amendment to IAS service rules against spirit of federalism: Mamata to PM

In her letter to PM Narendra Modi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said the proposed amendment should be rolled back as it upsets harmonious arrangement between Centre and States in the matter of posting of IAS and IPS officers. 
File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
Updated on Jan 18, 2022 11:04 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to roll back the proposed amendment in the existing service rules to ensure the availability of a sufficient number of IAS officers for central deputation.

According to a latest proposal from the Union ministry of personnel, the Centre wants each state government to make available for deputation to the central government such a number of eligible officers of various levels to the extent of the Central Deputation Reserve prescribed under existing regulations, adjusted proportionately by the number of officers available with the state government concerned vis-à-vis the total authorised strength of the state cadre at a given point of time.

Officials said the proposal will give greater say to the Centre as various state/joint cadres were found to be not sponsoring an adequate number of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers as part of the central deputation reserve even though the ministry had flagged the issue several times.

In her letter, Banerjee said, "I express my strong reservations to the approach followed by the central government in proposing such an amendment to the Cadre Rules which unilaterally mandates the state government to make such a number of officers available for deputation as prescribed under (the) central deputation reserve."

She said the proposed amendment is "against the spirit of cooperative federalism and it upsets harmonious arrangement between Centre and States in the matter of posting of IAS and IPS officers".

If the proposed amendment is implemented, the actual number of officers to be deputed to the central government shall be decided by the Centre government in consultation with the state government concerned.

In case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the central government and the state government or state governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the central government “within a specified time”, it has proposed.

Existing rules did not mention any time limit for deciding on such disagreement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Thursday, May 26, 2022