CM Uddhav Thackeray
CM Uddhav Thackeray
Photo Credit: Twitter/@CMOMaharashtra

Mumbai: The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has put an embargo on the transfer of state government officials and employees till June 30, 2021. The decision, announced on Monday, was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the upswing in cases, a government order said.

“The financial year 2020-21 is now over and FY 2021-22 has started. Therefore, inquiries are being made by the administrative departments as to whether transfers should be made in the current financial year. However, considering the increased prevalence of Covid-19 in the state at present, there will be no transfers till June 30, 2021,” the government said in its order issued on Monday.

However, the government has clarified that transfers will be permissible only for the following reasons in this period: 1) To fill vacancies caused by retirement. 2) To fill vacancies in essential services to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and 3) If the competent authority making the transfer is convinced that it is necessary as a serious complaint has been received against the government employee.

The government order is a part of its austerity drive amid revenue shortfall brought on by the pandemic-induced lockdown and the economic downturn. Besides, the government wants to maintain continuity in the functioning of the departments. As per the lockdown notification, it is not mandatory for government or semi-government offices to function at 50 per cent capacity but they are expected to stagger office timings and allow staff to work from home. They are expected to work out the staggered work hours to maintain social distancing or allow employees to work from home.

A senior general administration department official told The Free Press Journal, “The state government, through a special order on May 4, 2020, had banned transfers and promotions as a part of austerity drive. In the meanwhile, the government had relaxed the ban and allowed a few transfers. As per Monday’s order, the government has banned transfers till June 30, 2021, considering the second wave and a possible third wave in the state. Besides, the government is striving to cope with the shortfall in revenue. The state had mopped Rs 19,298.17 crore revenue in April 2021, which is 5.23 per cent of the budget estimate. The state government, in its annual budget for 2021-22 presented on March 8, had projected a total revenue of Rs 3,68,986.86 crore.”

He said the state government had, in 2020-21 estimated Rs 3,47,456.89 crore in revenue, which was revised to Rs 2,89,497.76 crore amid the lockdown and the economic slowdown. The state’s actual revenue collection was Rs 2,63,192.87 crore, which was 75.75 per cent of the budget estimate.

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