Proposed amendment to IAS cadre rules 'against spirit of cooperative federalism': Mamata tells Modi

New Delhi: Terming the proposed amendment to the IAS cadre rule 1954 "against the spirit of cooperative federalism" and stating that "it upsets harmonious arrangement between Centre and States in the matter of posting of IAS and IPS officers", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to withdraw/not give effect to the same.

The letter written by Banerjee read, "I express my strong reservations to the approach followed by the Central Government in proposing such amendment to the Cadre Rules which unilaterally mandates the State Government to make such number el officers available for deputation as prescribed under Central Deputation Reserve. Not only Is the proposed amendment against the spirit of cooperative federalism but the same also upsets the time-tested harmonious arrangement which has existed between the Centre and States in the matter of posting of IAS-IPS officers."

"In any event, State and Central Governments across the country are already in great difficulty due to a shortage in the existing IASAPS officers. However, by insisting on officers to be made available for deputation through the proposed amendment, not only well the administration of States be affected but also it would become impossible to assess and plan the administration of a State by engaging such officers who form part of the Central Deputation Reserve, fraught with the uncertainty of their sudden deputation by the Centre. Such a position would also be detrimental to the spirit, confidence, and motivation level of officers who feature in the Central Deputation Reserve," said the West Bengal Chief Minister in her letter to PM Modi.

The letter stated that as seen in some recent instances, the Union Government has sought the services of some all India service officers of West Bengal suddenly and unilaterally without any due consultation with the state, adding that the proposed amendment of the Cadre Rules will "only legalise such actions which are clearly unwarranted."

"By the proposed amendment, a provision is also sought to be inserted proposing, inter aka. that in case of a disagreement between the Central Government and the State Government. the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the State Government shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government within a specific time Such amendment seems to make a permanent dent in the spirit of cooperative federalism and the consultative approach which had so far existed n all matters concerning the allocation, deputation, and posting of cadre officers," stated Banerjee's letter.

Banerjee in her letter urged PM Modi to consider that the reciprocal span of interactive and consultative give and take, designed in the existing framework, should not be replaced by unilateralism.

The letter stated that decentralised decision making at the state level is vital since states are the best judges of local exigencies, ground-level administration and suitability of administrative service talent for local affairs.

"You have yourself served as a state Chief Minister for years and you, better than most, would appreciate the truth of what I am saying. Please desist from allowing any dilution of these basic principles by such amendments. Hence, I request you to keep the federal span of the Cadre Rules immolated by withdrawing/ not giving effect to the proposed amendment," the letter concluded. (ANI)

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