SRINAGAR: In wake of enhancement in the retirement age, the J&K government Thursday formally cancelled the retirement of its gazetted and non-gazetted employees who were to otherwise retire this year.
Prior to announcing the enhancement in retirement age of employees, the state government had notified the retirement dates of its employees who were turning 58, and were thus retiring, this summer.
However, the order has now been withdrawn and replaced with a fresh one that confirms the last-minute delay in the employees’ retirements.
“It is hereby notified that the retirement notifications, in respect of officers/officials who were scheduled to retire in June 2014 and onwards in the year, are hereby withdrawn/cancelled,” reads the government order issued in favour of the “KAS officers, Under Secretaries, Private Secretaries, Administrative Officers, and officials from other cadres at the non-gazetted level.”
“Further, 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,” the order said.
The order comes about two weeks after the state Cabinet decided to enhance the retirement age of its employees from 58 to 60 years. The much-demanded announcement, which is going to benefit about 4.5 lakh employees of the state, has, however, evoked criticism from various quarters that question its underlying logic and motivation.
About 17,000 employees, as per a rough estimate, were to retire this year. The enhancement in retirement age, and the subsequent cancellation of this year’s scheduled retirements, has blocked the vacancies to be otherwise created for the youth.
The analysts expect the now-confirmed ‘blockade’ to be detrimental for the unemployed, educated youth, who number around 600, 000—nearly five percent of the state’s population and more than that of any other state in India.
However, the employees, who had launched an agitation to demand age enhancement and other benefits, have been arguing that increase in retirement age wouldn’t affect fresh employments.
“There are vested interests who would try to create wedge between the youth of the state and the employees. Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) urges the state government to come up with an employment package for these youths,” Rauf Ahmad Bhat, convener of JCC, an umbrella body of the employees unions, had said in their press conference addressed after age enhancement.
“Every year around 8000 employees retire from their services while very few are being appointed to fill the vacancies,” he added.