Ramakanta Biswas

The controversy regarding the proposed amendment to the All India Service (cadre) Rules 1954 has escalated further with Odisha joining several other states in opposing the Centre’s move.

Raising objection over the proposal to change Rule 6 (1), which deals with Central deputation of IAS officers, the Odisha government’s General Administration department has reportedly shot off a letter to the Centre.   

In the letter, the State underlined that the developmental projects and their implementation in the State will get hampered if civil servants are taken on Central deputation. It has urged the Centre to implement the existing rules and also fill up the vacancies in the administrative services.    

Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Rajya Sabha member Amar Patnaik said, “The latest proposal by GoI to amend the All India Service Rules, besides upsetting the existing balance in control that Centre & States exercised over these cadres, is also contrary to the current definition of Deputation. It requires willingness of the officer too; can’t be forced,” the Parliamentarian tweeted.

Earlier, state governments of Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan had expressed their opposition to the proposal. 

Opposing the Central move, Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja said, “If the rules are amended, the Centre will call back able civil servants working in the state level and where there is no BJP government and send corrupt as well as lazy officers to states which will hamper the developments. All, irrespective of their political affiliations, should oppose the move.” 

On the other hand, the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) threw its weight behind the proposed amendment. 

“All the civil servants belong to particular state cadres. If their deputations are withheld due to state government hesitation, it will lead to low strength of civil servants at the Centre which will also affect the development of the country,” Prithiviraj Harichandan, BJP’s State general secretary said. 

“I think the amendment will not have any negative impact. Those going on Central deputation work for the country and those stay back in the state level serve the state as well as the country. In many cases, the state governments act arbitrarily and the amendment will completely eliminate the practice,” he added.   

Notably, the proposed changes in the rules on the deputation of civil servants say that the Centre shall decide the matter in case of any disagreement. The states have been given time till January 25 to respond.

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