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Dhaka Tribune

Extension of retirement age shelved

Update : 29 Dec 2013, 08:01 PM

The initiative of increasing the retirement age of public servants has been postponed because of strong opposition from a section of bureaucrats and the refusal by the Prime Minister’s Office to approve such a policy decision during the polls-time government period.

The public administration ministry has already shelved the proposal to increase the retirement age to 60 from 59 years along with another – increasing the age of entry-level public servants to 32 from 30 years. The initiative was taken around a year back.

Though the opposing quarter confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune about the hurried move, public administration ministry’s Senior Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder denied working on the issue.

He said the ministry had no such move in the last one year. “It is completely a policy decision. The election-time government will not take or approve any policy decision during this period. We did not get instruction from the government high-ups to initiate the move.”

According to the ministry officials, Sikder, home ministry’s Senior Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed, Parliament Secretariat’s Senior Secretary Ashraful Maqbul, BCS Academy’s Rector Shafiq Alam Mehedi and some other high officials would go on post-retirement leave within a month a two.

Local Government Secretary Abu Alam Md Shahid Khan is set to go to PRL from January 17, said a circular on Tuesday. The contractual appointment of Secretary to the PMO Mollah Waheduzzaman is also about to end.

The senior officials allegedly were pursuing the government to extend the retirement age so that they could stay in service for one more year, claimed the officials opposing the proposal.

The government earlier extended the retirement age of public servants by two years from 57 to 59 on December 19, 2011. It was fixed at 57 years after the independence in 1971.

The retirement ceiling was increased considering that people’s average life expectancy had increased to 67 from 46 years, and the entry-level age limit to 30 years from 27 in comparison to the post-independence era.

Sources say a section of secretaries, additional secretaries and junior officers, mostly from the 1984 batch, are opposing the proposal fearing that they would be deprived of promotion in due time. Most of them have qualified with sufficient scores and are waiting to get promotion to the higher posts.

The objectors are led by some of the additional secretaries at the PMO, local government ministry and communications ministry.

The officials in favour of increasing the entry and retirement age stopped the move in the wake of mixed reaction from the civil bureaucracy.

The mid-level officials questioned whether the move had been taken in the public interest or for the interest for a few senior officials, as around 10 of them would retire next month.

There are around 12 lakh officials and employees in government service and around 40,000 retire every year, according to officials.

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