THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amidst strong protests from employees’ organisations, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has, yet again, reiterated the government’s resolve to include Secretariat Service in the proposed Kerala Administrative Service (KAS). In protest, the Congress-backed employees organisations announced they would go on mass leave on Monday. On Friday, the Chief Minister held discussions with CPM, Congress, CPI and BJP-backed organisations for an hour, but finally announced that the government would go ahead with its plans for KAS.
He also sought the co-operation of the unions in implementing the decision. On their part, the organisations reiterated the charge that KAS would shut promotion possibilities to employees with 15 to 18 years of service when less experienced personnel from field jobs get appointed in the secretariat. There is also a chance of corruption seeping into the Secretariat - which is now better insulated - in this process, they alleged. With the Chief Minister refusing to budge, the Congress-backed Kerala Secretariat Association and Kerala Secretariat Action Council announced plans to go on mass leave on Monday.
They also held a protest outside the Secretariat. KAS had held a pride of place in the LDF election manifesto. On December 28, the Cabinet decided to introduce the KAS in 30 departments, including General Administration and Finance. The previous UDF Government, in September 2013, had formed a committee headed by the then Chief Secretary E K Bharat Bhushan to study the feasibility of KAS.
The committee was in favour of the KAS as it would ‘’ensure the availability of qualified SCS (state civil service) officers in the field of choice for induction into the IAS to improve the quality of the middle-level officers and to provide direct avenue for youth in the state join public service.” The CPM-backed Secretariat Employees Association, Congress-backed Kerala Secretariat Association, CPI’s Secretariat Staff Association, BJPbacked Kerala Secretariat Employees’ Sangh, Law Secretariat Association and Kerala Finance Secretariat Association attended Friday’s meeting.