The cabinet has approved the draft of ‘Public Service Act 2015’ incorporating the provision for taking prior approval of the government for arresting a public servant before acceptance of the chargesheet by the court in a criminal case.
The approval to the draft law was given in principle by the cabinet in its regular weekly meeting held at the PMO with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair on Monday.
Briefing the reporters at the Secretariat after the meeting, cabinet secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that the approval of the draft law was a milestone step as formulation of such a law was long awaited. But critics maintained that the draft will turn into a routine law and will enhance politicisation of the administration and deprive efficient officials of timely promotion.
The cabinet secretary pointed out that arresting a government official or employee before submission of a chargesheet in the court will require permission from the government. However, such permission will not be needed for making an arrest after acceptance of the chargesheet. Although permission will be required for arrest, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) or other organsiations will be able to file cases or conduct investigation against a government employee.
Bhuiyan said that the government is not giving any facility to the employees, which is not approved by the constitution. He said that the proposed law prepared by the Public Administration Ministry will not contradict with the ACC.
He further said that the services of the employees holding constitutional posts, persons of judicial service, defense personnel, disciplined forces, railway employees, persons of any temporary commission, employees of local government bodies, public university teachers and employees of development projects would remain outside the purview of the draft law and would be guided by separate laws.
The government will formulate required rules on different issues for making the law operational. “Rules would be formulated on appointment, promotion, seniority, leave, posting, lien and deputation, retirement benefits and retirement,” Bhuiyan added.
The cabinet secretary said separate rules would be framed under the new law for examination for promotion, performance appraisal, career training and skill development, higher studies, privileges, incentives, disability, welfare and preservation of quota for disabled persons and backward communities.
“The retirement age of the civil servants would be ascertained by the Public Service Act, 1974,” Bhuiyan added.
The draft will be sent to the legislative wing of the Ministry of Law and Justice for vetting before placing to the cabinet again for final approval, the cabinet secretary said.
The cabinet also approved the draft of “Nuclear Power Plant Ordinance 2015” with a view to ensuring development of the power sector by 2021.
Bhuiyan said that the nuclear power plant is expected to start production in 2021.
The cabinet also approved drafts of National Disaster Management Policy 2015, Army (Amendment) Act 2015 and Air Force (Amendment) Act 2015.
Minister without portfolio Syed Ashraful Islam, who was removed from the LGRD ministry on Thursday, was conspicuous by his absence in the cabinet meeting of Monday.
Replying to a question about Ashraf’s absence, the cabinet secretary said, “He was not present in today’s meeting but it doesn’t mean that he will remain absent in the future meetings also.”