Employees threaten stir if retirement age not raised

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Rupnagar, Jun 26 (UNI) The Joint Forum For Raising Retirement Age, a conglomeration of various employees unions in Punjab, has threatened to launch an agitation if the state government failed to raise the age limit for the government employees to 60 years.

While addressing a press conference here today the convener of the Forum, Swinder Singh Lakhowal alleged that Akali Dal-BJP government had failed to fulfill the promise made in its election manifesto for increasing the retirement age from 58 to 60 years and had adopted dillydallying tactics over the issue.

He said the central government had already raised the retirement age from 58 years to 60 years since 1998 and had many other states had also followed the same.

Mr Lakhowal said that as per existing rules in Punjab, IAS and IPS and class-4 employees retiring age was 60 years. Recently the Punjab government had raised the retirement age of medical college teachers, chairman and vice chairman of Punjab School Education Board from 58 years to 65 years, he pointed out.

He said the age limit criteria should be the same throughout the country otherwise it was violation of human rights of employees, he said while pointing out that the average life expectancy which was 50 years in early 1970s had touched 70 years now.

The increase in retirement age also necessitated to meet the growing demand for experienced employees both in technical and non-technical fields, he added.

He also demanded regular recruitment in all government and semi government departments as thousands of posts were lying vacant and work load of in-service employees had increased, he added while claiming that contract based recruitment was not the proper solution to fill up vacant posts.

He warned the government to accept the demand regarding raising of retirement age by June 30 failing which the Forum would be forced to adopt an gitational path.

Mulazam Front Punjab, general secretary Amarjit Singh Randhawa, Punjab and UT Employees Joint Action Committee ,general secretary, Gurmail Singh and convener Kartar Singh Pal, SC/BC Employees Federation, president Prem Singh Khabra, Field and Workshop Union, secretary Malagar Singh Khamano were also present on the occasion.

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