peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has backtracked on its own plan of raising retirement age for government employees and while the employees are satisfied over this, the litigation and time wasted on the issue caused mental agony to the thousands of employees of various departments.
A senior official in the provincial bureaucracy said that statistics proved that the government plan of raising retirement age was not beneficial, but rather costly. “And the issues in terms of human resource were very complicated to resolve,” he added.
Recently the provincial government has asked various departments to prepare the pensions of hundreds of employees who have reached the age of 60 years, although the government had earlier planned to raise the retirement age to 63 years.
The government employees have been retiring at the age of 60 but the government had passed an Act through the provincial assembly to increase the retirement age to 63 years. This decision of increasing retirement age deprived hundreds of the government employees of promotions as well as retirement.
Afterwards, the government employees approached the Peshawar High Court against the decision and consequently the high court annulled the plan of government and decided in favour of the employees. However, the government approached the Supreme Court, which decided the case in favour of the government.
However, the government, despite getting ruling in its favour, made up its mind to again revert to the 60 years retirement age and recently asked departments to prepare the lists of employees having reached 60 years of age.
Speaking to The Nation, Coordinator PCS/PMS Officers Association Fahad Ikram Qazi said that it is good that the government has realised for reverting the retirement age to 60 but that it is surprising how much of energy and resources went down the drain on this irrational scheme.
He also said that the government has yet to proceed with any serious civil service reforms as committed. “We hope that they will consider civil service reforms in terms of administrative federalism, merit in postings and promotions so as to improve the service delivery,” he added.
A government official, requesting anonymity, said that the government seemed confused because it first raised the retirement age and later reverted it.
“This shows that the government lacks policy and a clear vision. This process of litigation on the retirement age has created mental agony to hundreds of employees whose retirement age had got completed in July 2019 while there were many whose promotions also got affected in the said period,” he added.
The Nation made attempts to get the comment of Provincial Minister for Finance Taimur Jhagra on the issue, but he did not pick the call, nor did he reply to the questions that were delivered on his WhatsApp number.