Hinting at a fresh rift between the Centre and the state, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing “strong reservations” to the Centre’s proposal to amend the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954 to enable the central government to post IAS officers on central deputation bypassing reservations of state governments.
Claiming that the change in rules for central deputation of IAS officers is “against the spirit of cooperative federalism” and will affect states’ administration, Miss Banerjee urged Mr Modi to roll back the Centre’s proposal. “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,” Miss Banerjee’s letter read.
The Centre, in its proposal to amend the IAS Cadre (Rules), has recently asked the state governments to send lists of IAS officers for central deputation. “Not only is the proposed amendment against the spirit of cooperative federalism but the same also upsets time-tested harmonious agreement which existed between Centre and states in the matter of posting of IASIPS officers,” she wrote.
Further, the Centre has proposed that in case of any disagreement between the Centre and the state government, the matter shall be decided by the former and the state shall implement the decision within a specific time. The Centre has proposed to insert a provision in Rule 6 of the IAS (Cadre) Rules 1954, which states that any IAS officers could be posted on central deputation with the concurrence of the concerned state government.
“Such amendment seems to make a permanent dent in the spirit of cooperative federalism and the consultative approach which had so far existed in all matters concerning the allocation, deputation, and posting of cadre officers,” she wrote. Miss Banerjee said that insisting officers be made available for deputation through the proposed amendment will not only affect the administration of states but also it would become impossible to assess and plan the administration of states.