Published On: Thu, Jan 8th, 2015

Govt fires CPWD official who skipped work for 24 years

New Delhi: Even in India, where government jobs are considered to be for life, A K Verma was pushing it.

Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu

Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu

Verma, an executive engineer at the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), was fired after last appearing for work in December 1990.

“He went on seeking extension of leave, which was not sanctioned, and defied directions to report to work,” the government said in a statement on Thursday.

Even after an inquiry found him guilty of “wilful absence from duty” in 1992, it took another 22 years and the intervention of Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu to remove him, the government said.

India’s labour laws, which the World Bank says are the most restrictive anywhere, make it hard to sack staff for any reason other than criminal misconduct.

States, led by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, have recently changed the law to make it easier to hire and fire staff, in a move welcomed by industry leaders but opposed by labour unions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cracked down on rampant absenteeism by making New Delhi bureaucrats sign in at work using a fingerprint scanner. The results are publicly available online – at Attendance.gov.in – in real time.

Inputs with Reuters

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