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With the Punjab Vidhan Sabha election results to be out on Saturday, the panels from Punjab for all the top posts in the UT Administration are expected to be received soon. The posts of Finance Secretary, the Senior Superintendent of Police and Special Secretary Finance are lying vacant. Officials are considering that if it is Aam Aadmi party forming the government in Punjab, the usual practice of favourites coming from Punjab here in Chandigarh is unlikely to happen this time. The panel for the Special Secretary Finance was recently received, which comprised six officers.
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“Things are really going to change now. If the new government wishes, they can even reject the panel sent for Special Secretary Finance and send afresh. Postings in Chandigarh are considered a prized possession. Usually, those who were close to the top bosses in the government are sent here selectively,” said a senior officer on condition of anonymity.
In the Chandigarh Administration, the ratio of Punjab and Haryana officers is 60:40. The Deputy Commissioner, SSP traffic and Home Secretary are from Haryana cadre. Sarvjit Singh, a Punjab cadre IAS officer of the 1992 batch, took over as the UT Finance Secretary in 2014 for three years. He was relieved recently and the post is lying vacant. Similarly, the post of Senior Superintendent of Police is lying vacant since December 2016 as Sukchain Singh Gill, the then SSP’s tenure ended and he was relieved. As per the general practice, the panel is sent to MHA and final appointment takes place after approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
The administration is already facing a shortage of senior IAS officers as the Home Ministry has not sent a replacement for other IAS officers as well. There has been no replacement for IAS officers Addapa Karthik and Bhavna Garg, who left after the completion of their tenure. It has been over four months since the former SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill left and the post is lying vacant.