When Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims transparency and accountability are must for “good governance”, the BJP-led government in Assam is not following his dictate in totality.
Debabrata Saikia, the leader of opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly on Thursday claimed that the BJP-led government in Assam is definitely not following the official guidelines in running the affairs of the state government.
The Congress leader said the state government is giving extension of services to a section of bureaucrats who are “close” to the influential people in the corridors of power in Dispur.
The Information and Public Relations (IPR) Department on September 28 issued a notification (No. IPRD.62/2018/1), on the contractual appointment of Rajib Prakash Baruahas an Officer on Special Duty of the department. The notification was signed by S Z Hazarika, secretary, IPR department.
“Pending approval of the State Empowered Committee and in interest of public service, Sri Rajib Prakash Baruah ……..,is hereby appointed on contractual basis as Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Information & Public Relations Department in the rank of Additional Secretary to the Govt. Of Assam for a period of one year w.e.f 01/10/2018,” the notification said.
Reacting on this, Debabrata Saikia said the BJP came to power in Assam with the promise of providing employment to 25 lakhs educated unemployed youths within a span of five years. “There are huge numbers of posts lying vacant in various departments. But many officials, after their retirement, are being appointed as Officer on Special Duty or advisors without any advertisement or cabinet approval. This has put a burden on the economy of the state,” Saikia told Northeast Now.
Former Director of Information and Public Relations, Rajib Prakash Baruah, an Assam Civil Service (ACS) official, retired on September 30 on attaining the age of superannuation. In addition to being the Additional Secretary, he was officiating as the Director of the Department of Information and Public Relations.
But Baruah joined his duty as the OSD of IPR Department at 10 am on October 1. His pay and allowances during the period of contractual service will be determined as per OM No.AAP.98/2017/30, dtd July 18, 2018. Both the notification and joining reports have been marked to the Accountant General (A&E) of Assam.
Baruah’s contractual appointment has raised two important issues – firstly, why did the secretary, IPR department and not the secretary of Personnel (A) department issued the notification of the contractual appointment of Rajib Prakash Baruah?
According to Debabrata Saikia if the government continues to re-appoint the retired officials then it should increase the retirement age of the employee through a cabinet decision.
“The government is only creating hurdles to the unemployment problems of the state,” Saikia quipped.