Cassian Baliarsingh

Even as Odisha's unemployment rate stands at the 2nd highest with 32.8 per cent of unemployed youths in the age group of 15-29, the government’s decision to re-appoint retired persons to fill vacancies has been termed as an act to snatch away jobs from youths who are toiling day and night. 

It is alleged that this move of the Odisha government has pushed lakhs of job aspirants to the verge of suicide and joblessness.

Recently, the State Finance Department released an office memorandum for the re-engagement of retired government servants upto 50 per cent at the entry-level vacancies. 

Students, spending sleepless nights and spending lakhs of money on tuition for competitive exams, alleged that this decision of the State government dashed their hopes. 

While many posts are lying vacant, the government fails to appoint new candidates. Every year, the government collects crores of rupees as application fees, but only to keep the job aspirants waiting year after year, alleged a student.

Condemning the decision of the Odisha government to appoint retired employees instead of fresh candidates, an aspirant, Biswajit Guru said, “The youths are waiting for years to get a government job. Firstly, they are not recruiting even if there are a lot of vacancies. Now, if they re-appoint retired persons, where will the youths go?”

“This is a huge blow for us. It is cheating. If you give 50 per cent of the total vacancies to retired persons, will the youths go and beg at railway stations and bus stands or should they kill themselves,” questioned Rakesh Biswal, another job aspirant.

“They are already enjoying pension benefits. Now, they are being re-appointed. Instead of re-appointment, the government should give jobs to new aspirants and regularise those who are on contractual basis,” said Bijay Mall, president of contractual government service association.

Coming down heavily on the Naveen Patnaik government, Leader of Opposition, Jaynarayan Mishra said, “Lakhs of educated youths are jobless, but the BJD government is keen on re-appointing retired people. This is the government’s idea to help government employees who are working for BJD instead of the people of Odisha.”

“This is like back-stabbing the educated youths of Odisha. This is the double standard of the Odisha government. They are re-appointing people who were working for their party. Our party condemns such an act of the government and stands by the youths,” said Congress spokesperson, Nishikant Mishra.

The government is reportedly re-appointing retired persons due to lack of funds and to save money on pensions and other elderly schemes.