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Assembly passes Bill to revive Bengal Staff Selection Commission

Kolkata: With an aim to fill up the vacant posts in various state government establishments, the West Bengal Staff Selection Commission (Repealing) (Repealing) Bill, 2019 was passed in the state Assembly on Tuesday, thereby reviving the erstwhile West Bengal Staff Selection Commission.

The Staff Selection Commission was established following the promulgation of West Bengal Staff Selection Commission Act in 2011. The Bengal government later scrapped the commission by repealing the Act in 2017.

The Mamata Banerjee government felt the need of reviving the West Bengal Staff Selection Commission to give an impetus to the recruitment process, so that a large number of vacancies can be filled up within a short span of time.

It may be mentioned here that the Chief Minister had instructed the government to fill up the posts that have been lying vacant in various departments. One of the main purposes of the initiative is to ensure more effective implementation of various social schemes introduced by the government.

The West Bengal Staff Selection Commission (Repealing) (Repealing) Bill, 2019 was passed in the House with 96 MLAs voting in favour of the Bill, while 27 MLAs voted against it. During the discussion, some of the Opposition MLAs raised questions on the necessity of repealing the earlier Act, as it would bear some financial implications on the government.

The state government, however, clarified that the repealing of the Bill for another time will not create any financial burden on it. The Opposition MLAs also raised questions on whether there is any provision in the law to repeal the erstwhile West Bengal Staff Selection Commission (Repealing) Act, 2017.

State Law minister Moloy Ghatak clarified in the Assembly that there is a provision in the law whereby a government can repeal an Act which came into force following the repealing of another Act of the past, if it has a genuine purpose behind doing so. The state government has brought the Bill to repeal an earlier Act with an intention of filling the vacant posts in government offices.

"An old Bill can be revived if the intention of the legislator is clear. The step has been taken up to revive the West Bengal Staff Selection Commission so that the recruitments can be made within a short time. The whole process has been done as per the provision of the Constitution. There are no financial implications in the Bill," Ghatak said.

Meanwhile, state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee took a dig at CPI(M) MLA Tanmay Bhattacharya, saying that the Left Front government had recruited 2.5 lakh employees in 2010, including many contractual staff in various departments.

The Trinamool Congress government regularised all these employments after coming to power. Bhattacharya had claimed in the House that no new vacancies were created in any field by the current government.

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