‘Government has not dropped the proposal to leave Devaswom appointments to PSC’

Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for DevaswomsThiruvananthapuram: Minister for Power and Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran indicated in the Assembly on Monday that the government had not dropped the proposal to entrust appointments to the administrative services of devaswoms to the Public Services.

However, appointments to traditional posts such as those connected with worship in the temples will continue to be under Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board.

Piloting the Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board (Amendment) Bill, the Minister said that the Amendment Bill was being brought to reduce the number of members in the Board from six to three so as to reduce expenditure. The Bill proposed to entrust appointments to the administrative services too to the Board until procedures for leaving the appointments to PSC including drafting of special rules could be completed.

He said that the previous LDF government had mooted appointments through PSC in view of large scale corruption in the appointments. There was no change in policy of government.

He said that Rs. 63 lakh was being spent on salaries of each member of the Board annually.

The Opposition raised several objections to the Bill. It pointed out that the Bill was aimed at ousting members appointed by the UDF government. The members were being denied natural justice by terminating their services before the end of their terms.

V. D. Satheesan (Congress) said that the LDF, which had blamed the UDF of catering to communal forces through enactment the parent Act, was now doing the same by retaining the Board. It was doing so in breach of assurance given in the House.

Later, the House referred the Bill to the Subject Committee.