The Virbhadra Singh led Congress government in Himachal is looking to increase the retirement age from 58 to 60 years as well as a 2 percent increase in dearness allowance (DA) for its 2.68 lakh strong employee base.
The move if implemented, will cost the state exchequer Rs 100 crore per annum. As per the 2013 employee census, the total number of employees stood at 2.60 lakh — with around 2 lakh regular employees and over 60,000 non-regular employees.
The government bears Rs 9,500 crore bill of the employees’ salary, while pension bills are expected to amount to Rs 4,400 Cr—40 percent of the total budget.
The monthly salary and pension bill is around Rs 1000 crore per month while the total budget of the state is Rs 35, 293 crore. Chief minister Virbhadra Singh, during a meeting of joint consultative committee, recently, said the issue pertaining to enhancement of retirement age will be placed before the cabinet.
A major section of employees in the state had opposed the increase in retirement age, probably as it could affect promotions. The Virbadra government is already facing criticism for re-employing and giving extension to employees.