Home Cities Rajasthan officers on APO for months, taking salary without any work

Rajasthan officers on APO for months, taking salary without any work

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JAIPUR: Over a dozen officials of Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS) have been put on ‘awaiting posting order’ (APO) for months with hefty salaries, which means they are getting salary without doing any work, people familiar with the matter said.

The officials on APO aren’t assigned any duty except marking their attendance with the department of personnel (DoP). They aren’t getting salary on a monthly basis but will get once given a posting.

While the districts continue to face shortage of officers, 14 RAS officers are on APO for months – eight of them since December 2021 and rest from two to four months.

‘There is no policy or time frame for putting an official on APO and giving a posting,’ said an official of DoP.

An official on APO said, “The government doesn’t have time to give us posting…it’s not a political task but bureaucratic work. The posts are lying vacant.”

The officer said it’s been months and they are sitting idle. “When transfer list of RAS was released months back, a list of IAS officers was also released…when they can get posting instantly, why couldn’t we?” the official asked.

“We vacated the government accommodation allotted to us and waited for the next posting. The house rent was not given during APO, so I had to shift my family to hometown and now I am waiting for orders,” said the officer.

A senior RAS official on anonymity said putting an official on APO is prerogative of the state government but keeping them idle for long is unjustified. “If there is any complaint against the official then action should be taken but APO cannot be a punishment. The official on APO gets full salary, which is taxpayers’ money for doing nothing,” he said.

“The RAS Association has time and again given in writing to the government urging to have a policy on APO, bringing clarity on maximum time frame to put on APO and other rules, but nothing has been done,” he said.

The official said the system was different 10-12 years back, then the secretary, department of personnel at their level used to give posting to officials on APO but with time things centered on the chief minister’s office.

Retired IAS Officer, Deepak Upreti said putting an official on APO for long is not a good practice. The official should be put in use and the APO period should be less. It’s the taxpayers’ money, and during the time of APO they get a full salary. “If not a serious issue, the official put on APO tenure should be of minimal time,” he said.

RAS officers on APO since December 31 are Narayan Singh Charan, Shweta Fagedia, Dataram, Govind Singh, Ramchandra Bairwa, Om Prakash, Uttam Singh and Ashok Kumar. In addition, there are Nilima Takshak and Om Prakash Meena from November 2021, Sudhanshu Singh from December 2021, Anita Meena from February 2022, Sanjay and Reena from April, 2022.

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