CM Stalin opposes changes to IAS RulesCHENNAI January 24, 2022 02:58 IST
Forcing States to send officers will pose governance deficit, he says in letter to PM Modi
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opposing the proposed amendments to the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954. He argued that it struck at the very root of the country’s federal polity and State autonomy. He urged the Prime Minister to engage with the States to further strengthen the nation’s federal spirit.
Contending that civil servants must be allowed to work with a free mind and stay apolitical, Mr. Stalin said the ramifications of the proposed amendments were ominous and “would cause an irreparable damage to the spirit of cooperative federalism that exists between the Union and the States and result in concentration of power with the Union government.” A copy of the letter was shared with the media.
Instead of imposing restrictive provisions to usurp the power of the States, the Union government can “positively reconstruct the working/service conditions for All India Service officers through a transparent empanelment process and by ensuring professional space and independence” so that the officers could opt for deputation to the Union government “voluntarily without any need for coercive rules,” Mr. Stalin said.
Highlighting that many States were “woefully short of officers”, primarily owing to the wrong cadre management policies of the Union government, he said while the Union government was availing itself of the common pool of Group-I officers at the national level, the States banked on the limited pool of IAS officers in the State.
Opposes lateral entry
The States were at the forefront of implementation of various programmes, including the Union government’s schemes. The States also faced frequent natural disasters, which required the services of IAS officers. “Forcing the State governments to depute officers would surely aggravate the governance deficit in various States. Further, the Union government’s lateral entry recruitment has also affected the morale of the officers who seek deputation on their own,” Mr. Stalin said.