Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said “rumours” were being spread by “interested parties” that the government was mulling reducing retirement age, and some reports have also appeared in the media.
“As a senior minister in the government, I can tell you emphatically that there is no proposal to reduce the retirement age,” Naidu, who also holds the Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation portfolio, said while talking to media persons in Parliament today.
In the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitender Singh in a written reply to a question, said that there was no proposal to reduce the retirement age. He also stated that 78 per cent of the government’s total wage bill of over Rs one lakh crore is spent on three departments– railways, home and defence (civil).
“The retirement age for Central Government employees was revised from 58-60 years in 1997 on the basis of recommendations of the fifth Central Pay Commission,” and that there is no such proposal “at present” to reduce the age.
To a query whether the Centre’s was aware of the Haryana government’s move to reduce the retirement age of its employees, Singh replied in affirmative saying, “The various state governments are having their own service conditions for their employees.”
“There is no such proposal at present. Age of retirement in state governments/PSUs is decided by respective state governments and board of PSUs etc depending on their requirements,” Singh said.
The Minister also said that the total wage bill of central government employees in 2012-13 was Rs 1.04 lakh crore whereas in 2011-12 it was Rs 92,264.88 crore and in 2010-11 it was Rs 85,963.50 crore.
The details in the reply showed the highest wage bill was that of the railways which incurred Rs 38,560 crore (almost 38 per cent of total wage bill) in 2012-13, Rs 35,097.08 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 33,580.41 crore in 2010-11.
Followed by the railways, the home department had the next highest wage bill of Rs 25,113.14 crore in 2012-13, Rs 20,036.76 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 17,809.16 crore in 2010-12, he said.
The Minister said defence (civil) had the third highest wage bill with Rs 14,502 crore incurred in 2012-13, Rs 13,102.38 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 12,127.92 crore in 2010-11.
The cumulative wage bill for three departments was Rs 78,175 crore which comes to about 78 per cent of the total wage bill of over Rs one lakh crore incurred in 2012-13.