Cabinet suspends plan to re-recruit top public servantsView(s):
Public Administration Minister says paying them thrice as much will be a colossal financial burden; move in conflict with existing circular
By Damith Wickremasekara
The Cabinet has put on hold a decision it took last month to re-recruit retiring public sector officials to senior positions paying them allowances more than thrice their salaries at retirement. Under the proposal, retiring ministry secretaries, senior professors and similar professionals were to be offered a monthly allowance of Rs 350,000 in addition to transport facilities and fuel and telephone allowances.
Deputy Treasury Secretaries, Additional Secretaries, Directors General, additional Directors General, senior scientists and other officials in such high positions were to be given, after they were re-recruited, a monthly allowance of Rs 250,000. They were also to be provided transport facilities, fuel and and telephone allowances.
Public Administration Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara confirmed that the decision approved by the Cabinet last month had been put on hold after it was pointed out that payment of high allowances would be in conflict with an existing circular where officials re-recruited would be only be entitled to an allowance equal to 50-100 percent more than their salary at retirement.
The minister said the Cabinet paper had been submitted on a proposal from the Finance Ministry in keeping with a budget decision to improve the efficiency of the public service.
â€œIf the Cabinet decision was implemented it would have been a major burden on the Government,” he said.Public Administration Ministry Secretary J.J. Ratnasiri said he saw no basis for the payment of such high allowances to re-recruited public servants as their service or qualification did not dramatically change after retirement.
The Cabinet paper had made a claim for the recruitment of retired persons saying there were no senior persons to fill the vacancies in the top positions and therefore those retiring at 60 should be given an opportunity to continue in service. The paper also suggested that the retirement age of public sector employees should be increased to obtain the services of persons with professional experience.
Last month, another Cabinet decision to calculate pensions of retiring public sector employees based on pending salary increases leading upto 2020 was put on hold after it was pointed out that the proposal would cost the Government billions of rupees.