Decrease of retirement age shelved, for the time being

PM Narendra Modi 20122014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi: The initiative of decrease of retirement age of central government employees has been postponed for time being, because of strong opposition from a section of bureaucrats and the refusal by the national trade unions.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has already shelved the proposal to decrease the retirement age to 58 from 60 years. “The retirement age for Central Government employees was revised from 58-60 years in 1997 on the basis of recommendations of the fifth Central Pay Commission, and that there is no such proposal at present to reduce the age,” said Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh on Thursday in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

The Home Ministry also clarified on Thursday that government has no proposal at present to reduce the retirement age of central government employees from 60 years to 58 years.

The central government high-ups look to initiate the move in secret. According to sources, the move that comes at a time when the Seventh Pay Commission is mulling another sharp boost to the pay structure of the Central government employees is also aimed at creating the requisite space for lateral entry of technically qualified youth into the government.

The move, sources said, is also in line with the BJP’s manifesto to provide employment to the youth.

The senior officials allegedly were pursuing the government not to reduce the retirement age so that they could stay in service for two years more, claimed the young officials opposing the proposal.

The young officials said, “Indian people reaching the age of 50 years old tend to suffer from a decline of cognitive and physical abilities. That older employees also find it harder to adapt to modern technology, which is must require to develop the nation. ”

The youth officials in favour of decreasing the retirement age hope to get promotion to the higher posts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said at New York’s Madison Square Garden, “India is a youthful nation with a very old culture. 65 percent of Indians are below the age of 35.” So, BJP government can’t ignore Indian youth unemployment crisis.

The age of retirement at the time of independence, 1947 was 55 years. It was made 58 years in 1962 after the Sino-Indian war and was again increased to 60 years in 1998, the BJP government led by Atal Bihari Bajpai, following implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission.

India’s life expectancy has increased from 58.5 years in 1990 to 66.4 years in 2013 and is expected to increase steadily.

With regard to this move, the central government employees right to know about the government’s plan to stem of their service, alarming trend for them, which runs in contrast to the trend of government employees in most other nations.

If move succeeded, the decrease in retirement age would be happening first time after Independence.