Dilli Ka Babu: SC to review DGP selection order

If indeed the government does present a full Budget, it won't be the first time that the Modi sarkar has veered away from precedence.

The Supreme Court has agreed to reconsider its July order on UPSC’s involvement in the selection of state DGPs.

In its order on July 3, the Apex Court had passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country and listed out the steps for the appointment of regular DGPs. It stated that the states will have to send a list of senior police officers to the UPSC at least three months prior to the retirement of the incumbent. The commission will then prepare a panel and intimate to the states, which in turn will immediately appoint one of the persons from that list.

The court has agreed to revisit the decision following pleas filed in Bihar, Bengal and Punjab seeking the modification of the earlier order.

These states have urged that the SC order needed to be modified as they have already come out with state laws to deal with the issue of appointments of DGPs.

No shortcuts on Budget?
Indications are that the finance ministry is gearing to present a full Budget on February 1, 2019. Budget 2019 will be Modi sarkar’s last Budget before the 2019 general elections.

The practice for such occasions once a government has completed its quota of five Budgets is that the government presents a vote-on-account, seeking Parliament’s approval for expenditure during the interim period till a new government is formed.

The decision to present a full Budget seems to suggest that the government is confident of securing a second term.

If indeed the government does present a full Budget, it won’t be the first time that the Modi sarkar has veered away from precedence.

Earlier, the government had advanced the presentation of the Union Budget from February 28 to February 1 to give government departments more time to prepare for implementing budget items.

Another sign, observers point out, is when Hasmukh Adhia retired last month as finance secretary. Budget preparations have already begun and usually, the ministry does not like to change the core team, headed by the finance secretary.

It is accepted practice for the government to extend the tenure of secretaries in the finance ministry if their last day of service falls close to the Budget. But in this case, Mr Adhia was not given an extension. Instead, the Budget team will be led by Ajay Narayan Jha, Mr Adhia’s successor.

Another day, another tussle
The stand-off between the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) doesn’t seem to be over yet. According to sources, the new bone of contention is over who should chair the proposed Economic Capital Framework Committee to decide the percentage of provisions RBI should set aside from future profits and transfer the surplus to the government as dividend. The committee is due to submit its report by February-end or early March next year.

According to sources, while the government is favouring former RBI governor Bimal Jalan for the panel head, the bank is keen on former RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan chairing the panel. Apparently, both are keen to ensure that the committee is comprised of members who can strongly represent the views of the government and the central bank.

Thus, the tussle is keen since the chairman of the panel will have the final word. Further, it is said that the decision on appointing the members of the proposed panel is with finance minister Arun Jaitley.

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