The state is facing an acute shortage of top bureaucrats with many IAS, IPS and IFS officers on Central deputation. In fact, majority of the top IAS officers are juggling with multiple portfolios owing to the shortage. According to data presented by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the Assembly on Tuesday, 15 IAS officers, and four each of the IPS and IFS cadre are presently on Central deputation. There exists 56 vacancies of IAS officers and 47 and 28 vacancies each of the IPS and IFS officers in the state, the Chief Minister said in a written reply.
Of the Kerala Cadre officers presently serving in the state, 30 IAS officers are handling more than one portfolio.
Even senior IPS officer and DGP K S Balasubramaniam holds additional charge as head of the Kerala Police Housing Construction Development Corporation, Chandy said. On a question as to actual requirement, Chandy said the state needed 165 IAS officers, 125 IPS officers and 88 IFS officers.
However, the shortage of top bureaucrats has not hit the efficiency of governance in the state, he said.
On coming to power, the UDF Government spent over Rs 2.68 crore on new cars for its ministers. Rs 2,68,18,452 was spent on 19 Toyota Innovas and one Toyota Altis (for Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty), Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the Assembly.
Ministers flew abroad multiple times
During its one-and-a-half-year tenure, the only UDF ministers who did not hop off abroad were Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, ST Affairs Minister P K Jayalakshmi and Cooperation Minister C N Balakrishnan.
Most of the ministers flew abroad multiple times, and majority of the trips were unofficial. According to data presented in the House on Tuesday, Gulf countries attracted most of the trips and the only exceptions were London (K M Mani and K B Ganesh Kumar) and Maldives (P K Kunhalikutty).
Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan visited Doha and Abu Dhabi twice each; Anoop Jacob flew to Kuwait and Aryadan Mohammed to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, while K Babu visited Kuwait.
Kunhalikutty visited Qatar, Maldives, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, while K B Ganesh Kumar visited Dubai, London (the only official trip listed) and the UAE.
Manjalamkuzhi Ali visited Dubai while K P Mohanan flew to Dubai and Kuwait. Government Chief Whip P C George too visited Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.