After losing in the parliamentary elections, the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday enhanced the retirement age of its employees from 58 to 60 years and the upper age limit for youths to obtain government jobs from 37 to 40 years.
The cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, gave consent to the demand of more than four lakh state employees, who had been agitating over the issue for the past five years.
Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand said that the decision to enhance the retirement age was under consideration for the past couple of years. “But no consensus could be evolved,” Chand added.
“Now after giving proper thought, the government decided to raise the retirement age of government employees from 58 to 60. Similarly, the eligibility age for candidates applying for government jobs has been enhanced from 37 to 40 years in case of general category and in case of reserved categories it will be 42 years,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief Minister during a meeting with a delegation of employees’ representatives here had directed Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khandey to withdraw all cases filed against protesting employees under the Essential Services Maintenance Ordinance.
Omar said much politics had been done on the issue of enhancing retirement age of government employees.
“Many played double role in this regard and while talking to employees they extended their support to them, and to youths they told that it would be counter productive for the interests of unemployed people,” the J&K Chief Minister said.
He said enhancement of retirement age will have no effect on recruitment of youths as the government will continue the recruitment process to fill vacant posts in different departments.
The NC-Congress coalition drew a blank in the Lok Sabha elections in J&K with PDP winning three Kashmir Valley seats and BJP winning two Jammu seats and the lone Ladakh seat.
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