Nepal | July 02, 2020

Govt needs to amend law to stop voluntary retirement

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, March 19

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has stated that the government will not let civil servants opt for voluntary retirement.

However, he is not in a condition to live up to his words before amending the Civil Servant Adjustment Act, 2017.

PM Oli has said that he is against the idea of sending experienced civil servants home at a time when the country has not yet come out of the transitional phase and federalism is still being implemented. He also warned of actions if civil servants refused to report to their duty.

The Ministry of General Administration stated that the PM could not stop voluntary retirement without getting the relevant laws amended.

MOGA Spokesperson Shiva Ram Neupane said the ministry was still collecting applications from civil servants who had opted for voluntary retirement. “We have also heard the statements of the prime minister and the ministers. But we will continue collecting applications for voluntary retirement till the law is amended,” said Neupane. He said the Cabinet should take an official decision against voluntary retirement of civil servants  and it should get the Civil Servants Adjustment Act amended from the House of Representatives.

The dissolved parliament had passed the Civil Servant Adjustment Bill -2017 with the support of the then opposition party the CPN-UML.

Minister for General Administration Lal Babu Pandit told mediapersons that the government would give voluntary retirement only to staffers who were mentally and physically unable to continue service. He said employees could opt for retirement as per the regular process but the government would not provide additional amount to those employees.

Vice-chairman of Nepal Civil Servants Employees Association Bholanath Pokhrel said that the government itself had offered voluntary retirement scheme to employees. “The government should first change the law if it needs the service of experienced civil servants,” said Pokhrel. He said the government should not blame employees as the scheme was offered by the government itself.

According to the MoGA, 9,656 civil servants have applied for voluntary retirement so far. Among them, five are secretaries, 38 are joint-secretaries, 185 under secretaries 1,445 section officers, 1,990 non-gazetted first class officer, 807 non-technical class II non-gazetted officers and 2,843 classless staffers.

Neupane said of the total candidates who applied for voluntary retirement, 75 per cent were non-gazetted officers. A total of 328 civil servants from Kaski district applied for the voluntary retirement scheme, which is the highest number recorded from a district. Only two government staffers from Rukum East applied for the government scheme.

MoGA Spokesperson Neupane said that it had also held informal discussion with the Ministry of Finance about the voluntary retirement of government staffers and the budget needed for the same. He said that Rs 32 billion was needed to give voluntary retirement to about 10,000 civil servants. The MoGA had asked applications from civil servants who had already served for 20 years and were above 50 years of age.

A version of this article appears in print on March 20, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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