While vital departments such as Home and Public Works Department (PWD) have no full-time secretaries, two other important departments dealing with the uplift of socially backward communities in Maharashtra are under the scanner for abrupt transfers of IAS officers.
The State Home department has not seen a full-time bureaucratic in-charge for the last two years as the present Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government continues the tradition set by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led regime.
Cabinet Minister of the Tribal Welfare department is senior Congress leader K.C. Padvi while the Social Justice department is led by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Dhananjay Munde.
Following the transfer of Manisha Verma as secretary of the Tribal Welfare department, Vinita Ved-Singhal was appointed last month. Within 23 days after taking charge, she was transferred last week to the Labour department. Anup Kumar Yadav, a 2002 batch IAS officer, was appointed in her place in the Tribal Welfare department.
In the Social Justice department, following the transfer of Dinesh Waghmare, the department’s charge was given to Parag Jain. Within a few months, Mr. Jain was transferred on Monday to be appointed as the secretary, Textile department, and S.A. Tagde was appointed as principal secretary, Social Justice department.
There has been no full-time bureaucratic head for the Home department for the last two years, since the retirement of senior IAS officer K.P. Bakshi. Taking forward the previous government’s mode of functioning, the MVA government has given the additional charge to a senior IAS officer in the rank of additional chief secretary, Sitaram Kunte. The Home department is led by the NCP.
Similarly, the PWD, which is with the Congress, has no full-time secretary. The responsibility is handled by Manoj Saunik, who is the additional chief secretary (finance). The charge of Tourism and Excise departments is shared by Valsa Nair Singh while Ashish Kumar Singh has the dual responsibility of Transport and the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
The Food and Civil Supply department has no full-time secretary while the post of vice-president of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority is lying vacant.
When contacted, neither of the ministers commented on abrupt transfers.
Sources in the ministers’ offices said that the decision on IAS transfers lies with the CMO.