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Kerala Pay Commission moots raising retirement age to 57

The 11th Kerala Pay Revision Commission has submitted its final report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, suggesting an increase in the retirement age from 56 to 57 for state government employees.

Kerala Pay Commission moots raising retirement age to 57
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File Photo)

Thiruvananthapuram

The retirement age for state government employees and teachers was raised from 55 to 56 during the later stages of Congress-UDF rule in Kerala in 2016. 

Incidentally, it is only in Kerala that the state government employees retire early, while in most other states the retirement age is 58 or even 60. 

The P. Mohandas Commission submitted its final report on the matter to Pinarayi Vijayan, which also includes the suggestion to introduce five-day week for all government offices instead of the present six-day system. 

It recommended that all government offices must open at 9.30 a.m. and continue till 5.30 p.m., instead of the present 10 a.m. to 5 p.m schedule. 

Among the other recommendations is setting up of a special recruitment board for selecting staff for aided institutions in the education sector, to be overseen by an ombudsman. 

Presently, appointments to the aided institutions are made by the respective managements and the salaries are paid by the Kerala government. 

It has been alleged for long that appointments of teachers are often made in exhange of hefty sums of money. As soon as the recommendation of setting up a recruitment board for all such appointments was aired by the TV channels, managements like the NSS, a socio-cultural body of the Nair community which owns a string of schools and colleges, have expressed their reservation. 

Asked about the recommendations made by the Commission, the Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, V.D. Satheesan, said that it is not possible for him to comment on the matter yet as these are serious issues, and the Congress-led United Democrsatic Front (UDF) will clear its stand only after discussions among the UDF leaders. 

The fate of this new report now lies with the Kerala Chief Minister, who will have the final say in both the government and the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF). 

Also, all eyes are on the reactions from the youth wing of the CPI(M), DYFI, which had vociferously opposed raising the retirement age since there are an estimated over four crore educated unemployed youth registered with the state employment agency, waiting for a job. 

Some feel the new recommendations might become reality as the financial position of the state is in a bad shape with its public debt at over Rs 4 lakh crore.

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