Few takers for Kejriwal's bidding scheme for top posts

Few takers for Kejriwal's bidding scheme for top posts

The Arvind Kejriwal government has suffered a setback in its plan to increase competition among bureaucrats and appoint VAT and Excise commissioners through open bidding by serving officials as just two applications have been filed under the scheme.  

 

While there are no aspirants to replace the VAT Commissioner, the Excise Commissioner has some competition as two of his colleagues in the administration think they should be considered to replace him as they can earn more revenue for the cash-strapped government.

The aspirants for the post of Excise Commissioner sent in the applications to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s aide by  May 10 – the last date of application which was advanced from the earlier date of May 17. 

Both the top posts in the VAT and Excise departments, which collectively earn over Rs 20,000 crore annually for the government,  are currently held by IAS officers. 

The tepid response to the Chief Minister’s idea of open bidding for the posts for attracting the best talent is also being linked to Indian Administrative Service officials’ criticism of the bid-for-post idea. 

 “None of the 60 IAS officers posted in Delhi have fallen for the Chief Minister’s bait,” said a government functionary, adding that the plan to run the government like a private company has fallen flat.

There are clear signals that the suggestion for breaking the rules of IAS officers’ postings, controlled by the central government,  has not gone down well with the bureaucracy.

The two aspirants of the excise commissioner’s post are officials from the DANICS cadre, said the official.

 “This kind of bidding is very demoralising for the current VAT and Excise commissioners,” said an official.

The AAP government floated the idea for appointment through bidding as a drastic solution for increasing its revenue collections, which were less than the targets in the last fiscal year.   

The circulars for applications were issued by Rajender Kumar, Kejriwal’s  secretary,  seeking applications for the posts of VAT and Excise commissioners from bureaucrats with pay scale of Rs 8,700 grade.

Along with the applications, the aspirants were told to give a target of revenue that they can generate,  along with details of a blueprint for achieving the objective.  

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