Govt decision to relieve temp employees raises eyebrows

CS issues follow-up “corrigendum” announcing govt will take extension of temp services into consideration

Gangtok, 24 Jul:

The recent Cabinet decision to terminate services of government employees who had completed their respective “tenures” was received with much delight by the lay people and party supporters since it appeared to be in line with the SKM promise to end the practice of keeping hand-picked government servants on service extension and re-employment.

The Cabinet meeting was held on 22 July, but it was only a day later, when a government circular issued by the Chief Secretary started making the rounds and fleshed out an aspect of the government decision which none had been expecting.

Clearly, the “tenure” mentioned by the Cabinet was not the service of “regular” senior government officers but the appointment schedules of those on temporary employment, or so the Circular conveyed.

A Circular issued by the Chief Secretary on 22 July, copies of which started circulating on social media only a day later, pointed out that the Department of Personnel has been receiving requests “time and again” seeking extension of services of temporary employees [“adhoc, consolidated etc”] appointed as “interim arrangement” at various departments.

The Circular went on to highlight that “recently, thousands of candidates” were appointed under the OFOJ scheme “thus all the departments now have enough manpower and that there is no requirement to grant extension to temporary employees.”

“Rather, there is an immediate need to relieve those officers and employees who have finished their tenure of appointments,” the Circular stressed and went on to request all Secretaries and Heads of Departments “not to recommend the cases of extension of temporary services of such employees duly keeping in mind the austerity measures and need for rapid efficiency being adopted by the Government.”

Needless to add, this surprise policy decision of the State Government led to much consternation among the people and today, the Chief Secretary issued a “corrigendum” in continuation of the Circular of 22 July.

This “corrigendum” conveys that the “State Government has decided that the extension of the services of temporary, adhoc, Muster Roll employees and those belonging to consolidated category will be taken into consideration after thoroughly examining the genuineness of their actual requirement in respective departments.”

“Same shall be subject to final approval by the State Government,” the Corrigendum states.