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Public Services Act, 1975


Public Services Act, 1975 During the British rule in India, the public services consistently received protection under the Government of India Act 1935 which provided the basic framework of the governments both in India and Pakistan since 1947. The tradition of such protection continued till 1971. The rationale of such protection was perhaps to ensure the neutrality of the services.

Bangladesh Constitution under Article 136 gives right to the state to enact law for reorganisation of the services of the Republic by the creation, amalgamation or unification of the services. The state is also empowered to vary or revoke any condition of service of a person employed in the service of the Republic. The provision of Article 136 led the government to promulgate an ordinance entitled the Services (Reorganisation and Conditions) Ordinance 1973 to reorganise the services. This was replaced later by the Services (Reorganisation and Conditions) Act 1975. The intention of the Act was to provide for the reorganisation of the services of the Republic and of Public bodies and nationalised enterprises, and for prescribing unified grades and scales of pay and other terms and conditions of service for persons employed in such services. The Act was given retrospective effect. It was deemed to have come into force on the first day of July 1973. The Ordinance earlier passed on the same subject was repealed by the Act. The Act, however, protected anything done or any action taken or any order made under the Ordinance which was repealed.

The Act has three basic features. First, it empowers the government to reorganise the services of the Republic, of public bodies and nationalised enterprises. Such reorganisation may include creation of new services or amalgamation or unification of existing services. Second, it empowers the government to prescribe unified grades and scales of pay and other terms and conditions of service for all persons or classes of persons employed in the service of the Republic, public bodies and nationalised enterprises. Third, the act empowers the government to vary or revoke conditions of service of persons in the service of the Republic, public bodies and nationalised enterprises without any compensation for such variation or revocation of any condition of service even if it is to the disadvantage of the person employed.

On the strength of the authority vested in the government by the Act, the first official notification of creation of new service cadres was issued on 1 September 1980 (No. SRO 286-LJ80/ED (IC) SH-92/80-98). Under this Order, as many as 29 service cadres were created. This order was revised on 31 August 1986 (No. SRO 347/U86/N4E/IC-4/85). The revised Order added one more service ie, Bangladesh Civil Service (Cooperative) raising the number to 30. Later in March 1992, Bangladesh Civil Service (Administration) and Bangladesh Civil Service (Secretariat) were amalgamated. [AMM Shawkat Ali]