Assam raises retirement age to 60 years

The Assam Government has raised the retirement age of its employees from the existing 59 years to 60 years, with the one-year extension directly benefiting over 6,000 employees who would have otherwise gone home on November 30.

Though the state Government said it was a demand of the employees that was pending for quite some time, many feel it was aimed at wooing the voters before the panchayat elections. The panchayat polls are likely to be held by December end.

While currently there were around 4.40 lakh employees with the state Government, 6,000 to 10,000 retire on an average every year. This month alone, the number of employees likely to retire stood at around 6,000.

The state Government, meanwhile, has also announced that it would soon consider raising the upper age limit for recruitment to 38 years. The one-year raise in the upper age limit for recruitment is intended at compensating for the "jam" that would be created by the extension of the retirement age to 60 years.

Hailing the government decision, Sadau Asom Karmachari Parishad (SAKP), the apex body of Assam Government employees, said that the demand for raising the retirement age was long overdue. "We have been demanding raising the retirement age up to 60 years since 1998. While the government raised it to 59 in 2005, we are happy that it has been finally extended to 60 years," said Basab Kalita, general secretary of SAKP.

Meanwhile, Assam Labour Minister Prithibi Majhi has revealed that the number of educated unemployed persons registered with the state government currently stood at 10.68 lakh. Of these, as many as many as 11,482 were post-graduates in arts, science and commerce, while 1,128 are graduate engineers.

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