A high-powered committee formed to review the existing quota system in public services will suggest abolition of almost all the quotas in government jobs.
Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam made the disclosure on Monday told reporters after the regular cabinet meeting held at the Secretariat.“We have almost finalised recommendations on the quota system. The review committee favours abolition of almost all the quotas and gives priority to merits,” he said.
The quota review body, however, will seek opinions from the Supreme Court over the 30 percent freedom fighters quota, Alam said.
“There has been a court verdict that the quota reserved for freedom fighters should be preserved,” the cabinet secretary, who heads the committee, mentioned.
As per the observation in the verdict, he said, any posts under the freedom fighters quota will have to be kept vacant in case of non-availability of qualified candidates.
Currently, there is some 56 percent quota in government jobs. Of them, 30 percent is for children and grandchildren of freedom fighters, 10 per cent each for women and under-privileged districts, five per cent for minority people and one per cent for people with disability.
“Time has come to go for an open competition. It is a primary decision of the quota review committee,” the cabinet secretary said.He also said they will seek opinions of the court as they did not clearly understand the observation of the court on the freedom fighters quota.
“The government will seek court’s observation on the issue. If the court abolishes it, the system will not exist. And if the court orders preserving it, the body will keep it,” he said.
“Any instruction/observation of the court has become a binding for us. We can never ignore it … the court’s instruction/observation is a binding,” he added.
Asked about the fate of the under-privileged people, the cabinet secretary said, “Now they are no more under-privileged. We have examined it.”
Students and job seekers have been staging demonstrations across the country demanding reform in the existing 56 per cent quota in government jobs.
In the wake of the countrywide student movement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11 in parliament announced that quota system will be abolished.
“As many things are happening centering the quota system, there will be no quota system. There is no need for any quota system,” she told the House.
But the premier backtracked from her earlier stance as there has been a HC verdict on the freedom fighters quota.
“It is not possible to reform the freedom fighters’ quota in public services due to a High Court verdict,” she told parliament on July 12.
In the backdrop of student movement, the public administration ministry on July 2 formed a seven-member committee headed by the cabinet secretary to review, reform, or revoke the quota system in government jobs.
The body was asked to submit its report within 15 working days. The committee was later given 90 more days as it has failed to place the report within the stipulated time.