BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to amend the Orissa Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (for SCs and Sts) Act, 1975, to ensure reservation for SCs and STs in contractual appointments. Replying to a debate on an adjournment motion, Minister for ST and SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Lal Bihari Himirika said a high-level committee, headed by the chief secretary, has been constituted to suggest the State Government on the possible amendments to the Act. The proposed amendments include reservation at the base level posts and introduction of reservation in contractual appointments. Other proposals are making the posts reserved for SCs and STs non-transferable and launching special campaign to fill up the base level SC and ST posts if not filled up. Besides, there will also be a provision to exclude talented SC and ST candidates from reservation, he said.
The Minister said the State Government has already initiated steps to get the views of the Law and General Administration departments on certain issues pertaining to the amendments. The Bill will be placed in the Assembly after the draft gets the approval of the Cabinet, he said.
Participating in the debate, Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh criticised the State Government for deliberately delaying the amendment to the Act. Padmanabha Behera (BJD) alleged that contractual appointment was started during the previous Congress government.
Earlier speaking on the admissibility of the adjournment motion notice, Dambarudhar Ulaka (Cong) criticised the State Government for its ‘lack of sincerity’ for the development of the SCs and STs. Though a number of schemes are being announced for their welfare, the funds never reach the villages, he said.
Ulaka alleged that though hundreds of crores of rupees are being earmarked for different schemes for the benefit of the SCs and STs, a major chunk of the funds is diverted for other areas. Alleging that the provisions of the ORV Act are being flouted, he said now-a-days contractual appointments are being done as a result of which the SCs and STs do not get the benefit of reservation.
The problem with contractual appointment is that after six years, the job holders become regular, he said and added that in this process the number of SC and ST employees has come down.
Deputy Leader of the Congress Chakradhar Paik alleged that despite existence of the act, the percentage of SCs and STs in all grades of government jobs is less than 10.