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Mixed Reaction to Move to Raise Retirement Age

The Daily Star

 July 27, 2003

Bangladesh - There has been a mixed reaction among the civil servants over the government move to raise their retirement age from 57 to 60.

However, the majority of the government officials are happy with the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Private Members Bills to put an end to contractual appointments in the administration. The committee also recommended that the retirement age be raised from 57 to 60.

Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, a number of officials -- currently holding joint secretary and additional secretary level posts -- supported the idea of giving no further contractual appointments.

They said contractual appointments have created a serious backlog of promotion in the administration.

About the government move to raise the retirement age, the senior bureaucrats are happy, but the junior officials of the rank of deputy secretary and below believe that the decision would not solve the problem of promotion backlog.

Sources said the secretaries and additional secretaries, who are now at the fag end of their career, will be greatly benefited if the retirement age is raised within the next two to three months, because many of them are due to go on LPR by the year end.

Junior officers said raising of the retirement age would serve their cause only if the decision is implemented after removing the promotion backlog.

They alleged that a section of top bureaucrats are making laws in their own interests and said the new move might have been made to please some senior officers.

They blamed the senior bureaucrats for impeding the progress of junior officers in various ways including denying them promotion at the right time.

They said the senior officers, mostly belonging to the erstwhile CSP (Civil Service of Pakistan) cadre, never tried to build a "smart and efficient" bureaucracy which would have ended their supremacy and eminence.

The officials further said they would like to see the bill, approved by the parliamentary standing committee last Saturday, before a final decision was taken on it.

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