-- Officials who have few months left for retirement not to get voluntary retirement
KATHMANDU, Feb 27: The newly-formed government led by KP Sharma Oli is mulling to revise the voluntary retirement scheme announced by the erstwhile government for civil servants for over fifty years. The Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had announced an attractive package for civil servants who did not wish to continue with the government service in the new federal setup in order to downsize the bureaucracy.
Instead of providing blanket retirement to all the officials who have sought voluntary retirement, the new government is mulling to come up with specific criteria and allow voluntary retirement only to the needy officials, said Minister for Population and Environment Lal Babu Pandit.
Preliminary record at the Ministry of General Administration shows that around 5,000 government employees have applied for the voluntary retirement scheme. The 45-day deadline to apply for the scheme expired on Sunday.
“The new government is not in a mood to give retirement to all the officials who have sought voluntary retirement. We are planning to offer voluntary retirement only to those who have serious health issues or are physically unfit, facing difficulty in continuing with their work,” he said.
He said that the government is not for giving retirement to those officials who are capable and can continue working until their retirement and also to those officials who have few months left for retirement.
“Similarly, there is also a trend among our government officials to seek voluntary retirement just a week or a month before their retirement just for the sake of additional incentives apart from the post-retirement perks and benefits. So, we are not for giving retirement to such officials also,” the minister said.
He said that giving retirement to all the officials seeking voluntary retirement will only add burden to the state coffers as the government will have to provide unnecessary incentives to all of them.
According to him, the government will have to provide extra six to seven thousand rupees per month to each of the officials seeking voluntary retirement apart from the usual post-retirement perks and benefits in accordance with the law.
He said that the government is planning to come up with specific voluntary retirement criteria, review each and every application of the officials who have sought voluntary retirement and approve the application of only the needy officials. He also hinted that the new government is likely to make a formal decision on the matter shortly.
"Our government has been discussing the matter for a while now. We discussed the matter with the prime minister himself recently," he said.
“Apart from the needy officials, others have to work. If capable officials also say they cannot work, they will be allowed to resign. If they resign, the government won't pay any additional incentive. At least, this won't put unnecessary financial burden on the government,” he added.
In a notice published in the Nepal Gazette on January 12, MoGA had asked public servants of above fifty years to decide whether they want to continue with the service or retire with a handsome incentive. The ministry had issued a 45-day deadline, which expired on Sunday. The notice also stated that one cannot withdraw from the scheme once they have applied for voluntary retirement.
The proposed incentive for employees seeking voluntary retirement includes a lump sum worth seven years of pension, which means an official seeking voluntary retirement will get a lump sum of up to Rs 3 million. These employees would also be entitled to the usual post-retirement perks and benefits in accordance with the law
Officials at the ministry said that Rs 10 to 12 billion would be required for the retiring 5,000 employees.