GUWAHATI: Stretching rules is the order of the day at Dispur. The moot question is: at whose behest?
Examples abound. Take the recent Cabinet approval to ten percent reservation for economically backward classes. This is a sheer example if indecent haste on the part of the Cabinet. The Cabinet approval to the new quota policy has been given without following any of the existing rules.
For such approvals, as procedures go, discussions are held with departments concerned first to take their views and suggestions. It is followed by a Cabinet memorandum that goes to the Chief Minister before going to the Cabinet. However, in the instant case, all such steps have been skipped and the Cabinet has given its approval, directly. However, such skipping of steps has only multiplied the problems for the departments concerned in its implementation. Since the departments were kept in dark while processing the issue, they are in trouble to implement it. As if the entire process is now going on in the reverse gear, the departments are now doing all activities that were skipped earlier.
There is a civil service board headed by the Chief Secretary. This board is to look after all promotions and transfers of all IAS officers. According to rules, no officer is posted or transferred before the completion of three years at a particular posting, unless there is some compulsion. In the event of any compulsion, the board is to look the matter first and then send it to the Chief Minister. However, now the board seems to have nothing to do as a hush-hush coterie of bureaucrats directly taking such matters to the Chief Minister, bypassing it. In the recent transfer and posting, a number deputy commissioners and commissioners had only one or two years of service in their previous postings.
The Sentinel, in a report earlier, brought to the fore some premature promotions. Why is such a chaos at Dispur, and at whose behest? Even if such irregularities take place because of a coterie of bureaucrats, what prevents the Chief Minister from acting tough on them?