A day after the Kerala government raised the retirement age of state PSU employees to 60, the Youth Congress on Tuesday slammed the decision dubbing it “anti-youth”.
They also took a strong exception to the manner in which the national president of the DYFI- A.A.Rahim, responded on being questioned about the decision saying the Kerala unit will respond to it.
It came as shocker as DYFI was known to hit the streets at the drop of a hat, when the CPI-M was in opposition.
Youth Congress president Shafi Parambil, a three-time Congress legislator, said DYFI is just a PR agency of the Vijayan government.
“The Youth Congress will not allow the Vijayan government to raise the retirement age to 60. This is an anti-Youth decision and we will be launching a massive protest against this decision, as the dreams and hopes and aspirations of the youth in the state will be dashed if the retirement age is raised,” said Parambil.
There are over 100 State PSU’s engaging around 1.50 lakh workers.
Notably, the retirement age of various PSUs in the state varies from 56 to 58 and the fresh order was issued based on the recommendations of an expert committee, which conducted a comprehensive study on the formulation of a common framework for pay/wage structure of PSUs in the state except Kerala State Electricity Board, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and Kerala Water Authority.
The expert committee had recommended that the retirement age of employees of all state PSUs shall be enhanced uniformly to 60 as in the case of central PSUs.
What has come as a shocker for many is the response of Rahim — a familiar face in most vernacular TV channels — when he stated that the Kerala unit of the DYFI will respond.
Meanwhile, AIYF- the youth wing of the CPI- the second largest ally in the ruling Vijayan government has come out strongly against this decision to raise the retirement age.
AIYF state secretary T.T.Jismon said this decision is a jolt for the youth in the state.
“We will protest against this decision, as this is going to seriously affect the job aspirations of the youth and we just cannot allow this. This is a policy decision and the Left Democratic Front has to know about this,” said Jismon.
Meanwhile, one of the reasons behind the decision is the serious financial crisis the state is going through and some state PSUs like Traco Cables have not been able to pay salaries and retirement benefits to its employees.
Reacting to the development, Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said it is a known fact that when the CPI-M was in the opposition, how much noise they made when anyone in government raised the retirement age issue.
“And now when in power, how slyly they dealt with it and issued an order. They should have initiated a discussion on this crucial issue with the opposition and the youth organisations. This is how CPI-M functions,” said Satheesan. This might just be the start as this might be even extended to the state government also, he added.
Incidentally, there are around 4.5 million educated unemployed youths in Kerala and all along, the CPI-M has been strongly opposing the retirement age as Kerala is the only state where the state government employees retire at age 56.