Friday, 4 January 2013

Retirement Age Row : Unemployment needs to be kept in consideration while reaching to any decision.

Once again the demands for enhancing the retirement age are coming into limelight. On one side failing to reach to any consensus and on the other side the trust deficit among the employees and youth (in particular) towards the govt. has landed it in a deep trouble. Time and again the state employees are stressing to increase the retirement age from 58 to 60 which continues to become a cause of concern for the unemployed youth. The govt. is unable to find any clear means by which it could fix this problem. While increasing the retirement age could prove beneficial for the already employed ones, it can pose serious problems for the unemployed youth as they would have to forgo the opportunities coming in their way to get employed and earn their livelihood. It is pertinent to mention that the number of educated but unemployed youth in the state stand at around 6.2 lakh which have to run from pillar to post in search of any job. Meeting the challenges of the unemployment while reaching to any decision that does not go against the employee’s interest is must so, as to give rise to an atmosphere where both progress towards their respective goals. 

Every year thousands of youth cross the age limit required for employment in govt. sector and that to the thanks for the policies drafted by the govt. which are unable to provide timely job opportunities to the youth. Thus, making it difficult for an aspiring employee to cap it and take its advantage. The demand to increase the retirement age has been in place for a very long time but the irony is that none has even thought of raising the induction age for an aspiring employee which renders them jobless every year. Although the new recruitment policy drafted by the state govt. to tackle the problem of rising unemployment has been put in place, but it has received a stiff resistance in its initial phase and has not been accorded a warm welcome till date. The policy is regarded as totally authoritarian, exploitative and unjustified. It is also viewed to violate the fundamental right of equal pay for equal work, thus denying the new recruits from their basic constitutional right. A serious question that needs to be answered remains still pending: Is enhancing the retirement age more crucial than giving an opportunity to the qualified unemployed youth to contribute in the welfare of the state by virtue of their skills? There is no doubt that the present employees are qualified and experienced but it is also a fact that new recruits are technologically more advanced than them. It is a nice time for the state to get the services of tech-savy people. Keeping them at bay from any possible job opportunities i.e. by exceeding the retirement age would seriously affect their morale and faith in govt. to eradicate the grave problem of unemployment. The demand to increase the retirement age would definitely add to the woes of the unemployed youth as they would be left with even lesser chances for their employment.

The present move to enhance the retirement age is being viewed as a serious challenge that the govt. needs to address while keeping in view the number of unemployed youth. A balance needs to be kept in meeting the aspirations of the unemployed youth while taking in account the genuine demands of the employees. It is not that the govt. should not pay any heed to the employee’s demands but the need of the hour is to come up with a policy that is acceptable by both the employees and the unemployed youth. The demands of the employees should be given a kind hearing but at the same time it needs to be ensured that there should not be any sort of injustice towards others. It is high time when the govt. needs to address this issue so as to give rise to an amicable environment where all contribute in the development process.  

Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi - Srinagar Live