GUWAHATI, April 20 – Taking exception to the proposal for creation of the post of Assistant Director (vide no (i) DT - A/ 1344/ 2014/15/ 28 dated 4th April, 2015 and (ii) No. TSM. 118/ 2014/ 12 dated 27.03.2015), the All Assam Tourist Officers’ Association has termed the move as “not as per the Assam Gazette Notification of the Assam Tourism Service Rules”, and demanded that the State Government follow the rules as prescribed in the gazette notification of the Assam Tourism Service Rules.
“If the Government turns a deaf ear to the demands of the members, the officers’ association has unanimously decided that it would not hesitate to knock at the doors of justice,” the association said in a statement.
The association also resolved that as per the Assam Gazette Notification No. TSM 51/89/68 of the Assam Tourism Service Rule, notified in the Assam Gazette dated 17th July, 1995, the gradation list must be prepared every year, consisting of the names of all the members of the service, cadre-wise in order of seniority.
“The same needs to be implemented immediately,” it said.
Then, the association said, the post of the Deputy Director of Tourism is by promotion in accordance with Rules 14 and 15 as laid down in the Assam Tourism Service Rules. “Therefore, officer of that post may be filled up from the cadre immediately. It may be mentioned that deputation is applicable only in case of State Government to Central Government, other State Government or bodies incorporate as per Office Memorandum No. FEG 13/92/pt/ 14 date 19/07/1997. Hence within the same, State Govt deputation is not applicable,” it said.
Pointing out that one Deputy Director has been deputed to Government of India, Tourism Department by the State Tourism Department Assam, the association said that as per point no. 6 of the Office Memorandum of the Finance Department the post vacant due to deputation should not be filled up.
Reasoning that the tourism industry plays a pivotal role for leveraging scarce foreign exchange earnings for the State and, therefore, it is essential for the officers to promote the varied destinations on offer to the potential tourists, the association said that the officers designated as Joint Director/ Deputy Director Tourism, Tourist/ Assistant Tourist Information Officers were not given any opportunity to furnish information to tourists in the international trade fairs.
“Officers on Deputation/ OSDs etc., are given the opportunity to attend the fairs and festivals leaving no scope for the field officers to promote the State in the international forum. If and when given an opportunity, mostly the officers of the implementing agency, namely, Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) who are primarily engaged in civil works are nominated to attend the fairs which is unfair,” it added.
The association also took exception to the Tourism Department’s “lackadaisical attitude” in handing over all the government properties to the implementing agency, saying that the ATDC has not handed over any infrastructural scheme to the Government and leased it out at a nominal rate at the expense of the State exchequer.
Moreover, it added, the employees engaged in the lodges managed by the ATDC are employees of the State Government, and the salaries paid by the State Government are a huge burden to the State exchequer.
“The same has been pointed out and objected to by the auditors. The members hence demand that all properties including the tourist buses be reverted to the Government which will run it on a commercial basis under the Transport wing of the department and contribute it to the State’s economy,” it said.