KATHAMNDU, Feb 14: Contrary to the government's prediction, the voluntary retirement scheme announced by the government for civil servants on the brink of retirement has received a disappointing response so far.
With just 12 days left for the deadline to apply for the voluntary retirement offer, as many as 1,500 civil servants have filed application, according to the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA).
In a notice published in the Nepal Gazette on January 12, the 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 given a 45-day deadline, which expires on February 25.
The proposed incentive for employees seeking voluntary retirement includes a lump sum worth seven years of pension. These employees would also be entitled to the usual post-retirement perks and benefits in accordance with the law.
“Unlike our prediction, the number of civil servants applying for the retirement has been nominal so far. We have received applications from around 1,500 civil servants across the country in the last one month,” said spokesperson at the ministry, Shiva Ram Neupane. The government had predicted that up to 12,000 servants out of the total 80,000 civil servants across the country might seek voluntary retirement.
He said that the number of applicants may increase by the next week as the deadline draws nearer. “So far, the response is low. But the number may increase in the eleventh hour since we still have 13 days left for the deadline to expire,” he added.
He said that the application trend, however, hints that the number of applicants is likely to be lower than predicted.
The retirement scheme has been described as the first serious attempt to overhaul the ailing bureaucracy. Despite warning from independent analysts that the scheme would not only incur a massive financial burden to the state coffers but also wreak havoc in the public service which is in transition, the government has been defending its move.
The government officials claim that such an offer would help to reduce the financial burden and infuse fresh blood in the ailing bureaucracy.
Earlier, the Ministry of Finance had estimated that more than Rs 50 billion will be required if over 12,000 civil servants above 50 years seek retirement.