Govt orders amendment in Civil Service regulations

SRINAGAR: Two days after enhancing retirement age of its employees from 58 to 60 years, the government on Thursday ordered amendment in the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations.
The order was issued by Governor NN Vohra through Principal Secretary to the government, Finance Department, BB Vyas under SRO-164.
The General Administration Department (GAD), Finance Department’s order states: “In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to section 124 of the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, the Governor is pleased to direct that the following amendment shall be made in the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations Vol-I.”
In Article 226 (1), the order reads, after the second proviso, the following proviso shall be inserted, namely: “Provided further that a government servant in service on 01.06.2014, or appointed on or after that date, shall retire on his attaining the age of 60 years.”
On Tuesday, the government announced enhancement in retirement age after the Cabinet acceded to the employees’ demand at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
The employees’ unions had taken to streets a number of times over the past eight years, demanding enhancement of the retirement age, and a delegation also met the Chief Minister earlier Tuesday.
Opposition parties, mainly Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), allege that the age enhancement is “nothing but a damage control exercise” after the coalition government led by Omar Abdullah lost all six Parliamentary seats—three in Kashmir to PDP and three in Jammu and Ladakh to BJP.
Prior to hiking the retirement age, , the government also shelved the much criticized 2011 recruitment policy under which the appointees were paid stipend instead of regular salary for first five years of their appointment. The government also revoked the four-year prepaid SMS ban invoked during the mass uprising in 2010.