Retention of posts
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 22: Even if Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi wants to give relief to thousands of State government employees by doing away with the cumbrous ‘retention of posts’ system, many government departments still continue to drag their feet over the matter. This has forced the Fince department to issue yet another directive to errant departments to furnish their database of employees and submit it at the office of the Accountant General.
The latest order comes in the heels of earlier orders issued on July 3 and September 4 this year, which had failed to prod some government departments into action. It is strange indeed that some departments have failed to comply with these directives for over two months, when all they were required to do was simply to furnish the figures of employees.
This speaks volumes about the lahe lahe culture which holds sway over such departments, as well as the reluctance of vested interests to cooperate with the Chief Minister’s initiative, even though he holds additiol charge of the Fince department.
On Monday, the Fince department yet again directed laggard departments to furnish in prescribed format mes of officers, number and date of creation of retention posts, number and date of the post being permanently retained, the number and date of any retention of post from March 1 to July 2 this year, and the number and date of retention of post onwards from March 1, 2015.
It may be mentioned that early on July this year, Chief Minister Gogoi had directed that no State government employee should be denied timely salary because of the time consuming process of retention of posts. Gogoi had then said that the retention process was diverting office resources from more productive work for the benefit of citizens.
Until then, almost all posts were deemed to have temporary status at the time of creation, and later the posts had to be granted annual retention. Only after a period of five years or more, could the posts be granted permanent status.
Employees could draw salaries only for the period when the posts were retained either annually or permanently. The process of annual retention of posts required proposals to be submitted from the employees’ office to the Directorates and then to be processed in the Secretariat.
Needless to say, this entire process was not only time-consuming, it also put thousands of employees to much harassment as they pushed their files in the departments. Taking full advantage of this, a circle of corrupt officials extorted money from the hapless employees to get their retention files cleared.
After the Chief Minister’s announcement in July, the Fince department tried to set about revamping the entire system of retention of posts, issuing new guidelines in the form of an office memorandum.
“In effect, employees will no longer have to worry about the status of retention of their posts either in the Directorates or Secretariat and can focus on sincerely carrying out their duties. At times, retention of posts could not be made immediately after the expiry of earlier retention period. Permanent retention was also, at times, delayed. This resulted in delay to draw timely salaries,” the Fince department had said.
It stipulated that henceforth all posts, both under plan and non-plan, which were created with the prior concurrence of Planning and Development and Fince Departments, will be of permanent ture and no further retention will be necessary, excluding cases like posts created for specific periods, adhoc basis etc.
But non-compliance with the Fince department’s directives by some State government departments has been putting a question mark over the Chief Minister’s grip on his administration. It remains to be seen whether the third directive by the Fince department has any effect at all on the errant departments.