With an eye to lift employees' morale, State government issues circular to stop hiring retired employees
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, June 9: In Assam where many government departments have key positions lying vacant for months and even years on end while avenues for promotion remain stagnt, the frequent re-employment of retired senior employees has long cast a shadow on the work culture. Now rather late in the day, the State government has woken up to this unhealthy trend, deciding to check this practice.
Official sources at Dispur told The Sentinel that the State government has decided to stop the re-employment of retired employees because in most cases, it does not benefit the government in the long run as re-employing retired officials discourages development of competencies of lower level officials to take up higher responsibility.
The trend of re-employing retired employees in different government departments at Assam Secretariat in Dispur has become entrenched over the years, particularly in the Fince department.
"Actually, the top officials of the Fince department want to create an impression that without the re-employment of retired officials, the activities of the department would be badly hampered. But the problem arises because the lower ranking officials are not trained up for the job before their seniors retire, who are then generally re-employed. Had the department concerned trained up lower level officials to ensure smooth working when senior officials retire, such situations would not have arisen," sources pointed out.
It is hardly surprising that this re-employment trend has for long hurt morale of government employees at Dispur.
The State Personnel department has now issued an office memorandum (no AAP.182/2012/49-A), a copy of which is available with The Sentinel, dated May 20, 2015 to restrict this practice drastically.
The memo stated, "…There shall not be any re-employment by the Government departments at any level, except with prior approval of the Cabinet in exceptiol circumstances and public interests , duly recommended by high level scrutiny committee."
The office memorandum further stated that in case there is a pressing, justifiable need for services of a retired employees because of his/her expertise to perform a specific assignment, the department may consider engaging him /her as consultant on contract basis .
In case of contractual engagement, the maximum contract will be for one year and with prior approval of the competent authority. Thereafter, such proposals will have to be forwarded to the high level scrutiny committee with justification in favour of the proposal. After approval from the scrutiny committee, the department concerned will have to obtain prior concurrence from the Fince department, the memo stated.
This will be followed by approval from the Chief Minister through the departmental minister concerned, which will permit the retired official to be engaged as consultant on contract basis for a maximum period of six months.