Common Service for civic bodies likely to be formed before Assembly polls

Common Service for civic bodies likely to be formed before Assembly polls

Thiruvananthapuram: A unified administrative service exclusively for local self-government bodies in Kerala is set to come up. This integrated official machinery is likely to be formed before January 26, 2021, after unifying five departments of the Local Self-Government (LSG) Department of the Kerala Government.

The government has already issued a draft of the special rules applicable for the Common Service. These were formulated after considering the report submitted by the LSG Principal Secretary-led Commission and the draft rules submitted by the Local Self-Government Commission.

Opposing the Common Service, certain employee outfits had earlier approached the Kerala Administrative Tribunal. They had alleged that their demands were not considered during the talks with the government. Outfits also contend that the Common Service would not be beneficial for the services to the lower rungs of society.

However, the government stance is that the tribunal has not put any ban on implementing the Common Service. But the Tribunal has instructed to resolve any problems that could affect the service terms of employees.

In this scenario, the government is likely to hold talks with the service outfits again over the draft rules. Subsequently, the special rules would be sent to the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) via the General Administration Department. After the PSC approves, the government would issue the notification.

In the Governor's first policy address after the current Left Democratic Front government came into power in 2016, it was announced that the Common Service would be formed in the LSG Department by integrating the departments of panchayat, rural development, urban affairs, engineering, town and rural planning.

The Cabinet had taken a decision on the Common Service last July. The government's objective was to implement the Common Service before the local body polls; however, this could not be done due to the COVID-19 preventive measures and legal proceedings. Now, the government aims to establish the Common Service before the Assembly elections.

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