The KCR-led government is likely to increase the age of retirement of government employees from 58 to 60 in Telangana. The implementation is likely to come into effect from April onwards.
While increasing the retirement age of government employees was TRS’ electoral promise, experts point out that the move may be to pacify employees, who are awaiting their pay revision.
Speaking to #KhabarLive, Professor C Ramachandraiah from Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), said that anger is brewing among employees as salaries have not been revised since 2018. Due to the paucity of funds in the state exchequer, the pay revision commission is delaying the process of revising salaries, and to placate them the government is trying to appease them with this move, he said. “They want to postpone the problem. They are worried that the employees would go on an agitation,” Ramachandraiah said.
Following the former Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s decision to increase the age of the government employees in 2017, Telangana employees also hoped that the K Chandrasekhar Rao government would follow suit. Acknowledging the aspirations of the employees, the TRS party had promised in its 2018 electoral manifesto that they would increase the age of retirement of the employees.
In fact, in December 2019, KCR had increased the age of retirement for employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) to 60 from 58. This after RTC employees went on a 55-day strike demanding among many things the merger of the Corporation with the Transport Department.
The decision also helps the cash-strapped government economically, said professor S Galab from CESS. “If the government conducts recruitment, it will be a burden on the government to pay salaries and provide benefits to the employees. Similarly, early retirement will also cause a financial burden, as they would have to pay gratuity and other pending dues to the employees. This decision is to postpone both these problems,” Galab said.
About 28,000 employees are scheduled to retire in the next three years, and the move to raise the retirement age could help the government financially. With the state not having to pay gratuity and other retirement benefits, the Telangana government could save Rs 10,000 crore with the move.
The move could also earn KCR’s goodwill for living up to his promise.
Meanwhile, unemployed youth have threatened to launch a protest if the government goes ahead with the move. The Telangana State Students’ and Unemployed Joint Action Committee Chairman K Manavatha Roy, said, “We are not opposed to the increase in the age for retirement for employees, but the government should first issue job notifications and then fulfill their electoral promise. Else we would begin a protest against the government.” #KhabarLive