Published On: Sun, Mar 1st, 2020

Retirement age soon to be reduced

New Delhi: Centre is considering reducing the retirement age soon to create jobs for qualified young men and women struggling to find them.

Representative image

The central government is considering lowering the retirement age to 58, it was Punjab’s turn on Friday to join the retirement age of government employees from 60 to 58.

Taking a major decision to provide employment to the youth, the Punjab government has decided to reduce the retirement age of government employees to 58 years.

The announcement was made by state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal while presenting the budget in the Punjab Assembly on Friday.

According to latest labour bureau data, Punjab had an unemployment rate of 7.7% in 2017-18. It had 429,883 government employees and paid over Rs 31,000 crore annually in salaries and pensions.

While some feel a higher retirement age will mean greater efficiency thanks to experienced hands, others say that young blood can perform better than their elders, often criticized for inertia.

India faces the challenge of creating jobs for a predominantly young population.

The central government has always had the powers to retire an officer early in public interest, if necessary.

The Fundamental Rule 56 (J) and Rule 48 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules 1972, was introduced to reduce deadwood in bureaucracy.

While Rule 56 can be exercised on officers who have attained the age of 50 and in some cases only after the officer is 55 years old, Rule 48 can be exercised any time after a government servant completes 30 years of service.

A government source said the extremely high level of unemployment prevailing in the country, which is affecting youths more than any other demographic group, the central government should reduce the retirement age of its employees in order to free up jobs for youths.

“The government have no choice but to sound an alarm,” he added.

The report of the National Sample Survey Office showed unemployment at a 45-year high last fiscal, the opposition has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration for its failure to provide enough jobs.

“All the jobless youth interested in government jobs for job security. If the government reduce the retirement age from 60 to 55, it will be able to free up thousands of jobs for the youth.”

“We know reducing the retirement age to 55 years seems a bit extreme, but drastic times call for drastic measures,” the source said.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi had also advocated that politicians should retire at the age of 60.

“The central government employees may not complain about retirement at 55 when politicians retire at 60. The Modi government is likely to see the youth faces in the government departments,” the source added.

“A change is always welcome,” he said.

30-million-odd frustrated job-hunters are fretting and fuming over the government’s failure to provide employment, so the source said no choice for the central government but to ‘to lower retirement age from 60 to 58.’

The government might make lowering retirement age announcement after coming out from the current financial crisis, he added.

TST

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