Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday announced raising the retirement age of state government employees to 62 years from the current 60 years. He made the announcement while speaking to reporters here today. He, however. did not disclose details of this decision.
There are about five lakh regular government employees in the state. The opposition Congress, accusing the government of "deceiving" the state's unemployed youth by increasing the retirement age, demanded that such youth be given a "berozgari bhatta" (unemployment allowance).
Replying to a question on the Supreme Court's order related to the promotion of state government employees, Chouhan said, "Several state government employees are not able to get promotion due to the apex court's order in a case related to 'reservation in promotion' pending with the SC. We will not allow any employee to retire without him getting his due promotion. This is why we have decided to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62 years."
The state government had made a provision for reservation for SC/ST employees in promotion, which was set aside by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The state's appeal against the order is pending in the SC with the latter ordering a status quo. This, officials said, has kept on hold promotions of state government employees.
Chouhan expressed hope that SC would take a decision on it within next two years. Attacking the government, the opposition Congress said the decision was not going to help employees.
"This decision is not going to benefit employees. On the contrary, this would deprive younger officials and employees from getting a promotion. The CM should now announce an unemployment allowance of Rs 2,000 per month to jobless educated youth of the state," said Ajay Singh, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.
He added that the state government should address the problems of contract employees, who are staging protests. Meanwhile, the Berojgar Sena, an outfit of the educated unemployed, has opposed the government's decision and called it "cheating".
"Chouhan has deceived 1.5-crore educated unemployed youth of Madhya Pradesh by increasing the retirement age of state government employees. This decision will harm the BJP. We will tour the entire state to apprise the youth about this. We will also take legal recourse," said Akshay Hunka, the outfit's chief.