Govt Mulling Retirement Age Enhancement

SRINAGAR: The state government is seriously considering enhancement in retirement age from 58 to 60, a long pending demand of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the government employee unions that recently deferred protests in Jammu as a ‘goodwill gesture’.

The government has passed directions to the Chief Secretary and the authorities at the helm of affairs in general Administration Department (GAD) to work out a proposal in this regard, top sources in the cabinet subcommittee holding deliberations with employees said.

“The Chief Secretary has been asked to talk to the employees leadership and issue the necessary directions to chalk out a proposal on the enhancement of retirement age taking all the prerequisites into consideration,” KNS reported Friday quoting a minister in the subcommittee.

Earlier this month, Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) chairman Abdul Qayoom Wani who also heads JCC had called on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in Jammu. 

The meeting between the two saw hectic deliberations on employee demands. “The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and  the Chief Minister was very positive about meeting our demands which includes enhancement in retirement age,” Wani said Friday on phone from Jammu.

He said the JCC’s decision to defer the two days agitation was in view of the ‘positive approach’ of Chief Minister and ‘employee friendly’ attitude of Cabinet Ministers regarding the implementation of agreement reached between the JCC Leaders and the state government on the instructions of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Earlier JCC had given a two days strike call beginning from February 14.

“We want that JCC should not be labeled as a confrontationist leadership that is why we deferred our strike programme.  We want to give chance to the state government to fulfill our demands amicably. Now the ball lies in the court of State Government and they shall be responsible for resolving or not resolving the issues and conditions thereof,” Wani said.  

He said that he met almost all the cabinet subcommittee members including Taj Mohi-u-Din, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Sham Lal Sharma, Mir Saifullah and Abdul Rahim Rather and the approach of all these members towards addressing the demands of employees was ‘positive’.

However, Secretary GAD Mushtaq Bukhari, when contacted denied any information about the issue. “I don’t know anything about this issue. Neither have I have received any instructions from the Chief Minister’s or Chief Secretary’s office in this regard.”  (KNS)

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