‘PWD officer still making decisions despite no service extension’

Although the service extension of Deputy Secretary (Works) has been cancelled, his signature is still being used in signing Government orders, which implies that the PWD department has no regard for government orders, opposition MLA Kh Joykisan has contended.

The MLA took up the matter during the question hour of the ongoing 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly session on Thursday.

Joykisan stated that as per an order by the government, service extensions are rarely done unless needed. Deputy Secretary (Works) Amal Kumar, upon completion of his service, had retired and there was no record of his service being extended. His name was also never included in the service re-engagement list forwarded by Finance Commissioner VK Dewangan to Commissioner (Works )on May 11, 2017. Moreover, another government order on May 31, 2017 announced that the services of retired officers were terminated with effect from June 1.

Thus, the Deputy Secretary (Works) no longer has any decision making responsibility but his signature is still being used to sign off on government orders. When a Right to Information (RTI) application was filed on the issue, it was also found that no service extension order had been issued in favour of Amal Kumar prior to November 18 last when Works Department issued an order with regard to his service extension. Even if this November 18 order is acceptable, how Amal Kumar was allowed to make decisions during brief retirement period from June 1 to November 18, Joykisan questioned.

The MLA also demanded to know about any existing government rules that facilitates decision making powers on retired employees.

Responding to his query, works minister Th Biswajit pointed out that the previous government made the cabinet decision on extending the services of retired government employees. However, the new government decided to revoke the re-engagement of retired employees in a cabinet meeting and to re-engage the retired officer only when it is very much essential.

On May 11, the Finance Commissioner send a written statement to the Works Department regarding the re-engagement of services, after which the Works Commissioner issued a reply on May 18, assenting the re-engagement of 5 officers with exception to Amal Kumar, stating that the higher authority needed to deliberate over his service extension, owing to the previous cabinet decision.

He further stated that the Works Commissioner never gave consent to the list sent by Finance Commissioner and it was afterwards that during a cabinet meeting, the new government decided to uphold the previous government's decision to extend his service till December 31,2017.

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