Despite Odisha’s unemployment rate being the second-highest at 32.8 percent of unemployed youth in the 15-29 age group, the government’s decision to reinstate retirees to fill vacancies has been described as an act to take jobs away from youth work day and night.
This move by the Odisha government is said to have brought hundreds of job seekers to the brink of suicide and unemployment.
Recently, the State Finance Department issued an office memorandum for the reinstatement of retired government employees up to 50 percent of entry-level positions.
Students who spent sleepless nights spending billions of dollars on tuition fees for competitive exams claimed the state government’s decision had dashed their hopes.
While many positions remain vacant, the government is failing to nominate new candidates. Every year the government collects millions of rupees in application fees, but only to keep job seekers waiting year after year, a student claimed.
One candidate, Biswajit Guru, condemned the Odisha government’s decision to hire retired employees instead of new candidates, saying: “Young people have been waiting for years to get a government job. First, they don’t recruit even when there are many vacancies. If they reappoint retirees now, where will the youth go?”
“This is a heavy blow for us. It’s cheating. If you give 50 percent of the vacancies to pensioners, will the youngsters beg at train and bus stations or should they kill themselves,” asked Rakesh Biswal, another job applicant.
“They are already enjoying retirement benefits. Now they are being reassigned. Instead of reappointment, the government should give jobs to new applicants and legalize those who are on a contract basis,” said Bijay Mall, president of the Contractual Government Service Association.
Opposition leader Jaynarayan Mishra slammed the Naveen Patnaik government, saying: “Millions of educated youth are unemployed, but the BJD government is keen to reinstate pensioners. This is the government idea to help government employees who work for BJD instead of the people of Odisha.”
“It’s like stabbing the educated youth of Odisha in the back. This is the double standard of the Odisha government. They reappoint people who have worked for their party. Our party condemns such an act by the government and stands by the youth,” Congress spokesman Nishikant Mishra said.
The government is reportedly reappointing pensioners due to lack of funds and to save money for pensions and other retirement schemes.