CHENNAI: Many public sector undertakings (PSUs) are still re-employing retired officials in state public sector undertakings and statutory boards despite the government directing them not to do so and formulate a succession plan to train available manpower. It is learnt that Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has appointed L Narasim Prasad, who retired on January 31, 2019, as chief advisor and director, systems and operations. This has been done after CMRL has rejected earlier extensions.
Chennai Metro Employees Union has also questioned the appointment of Narasim Prasad and it is learnt letters were addressed to the Chief Minister’s Cell and also to the Industries Minister. A top Chennai Metro Rail official told Express that they have already selected the director of systems and operations. “Since the new person has asked for some time to join Chennai Metro Rail because of formalities to be followed in the parent department, he will be in charge,” the official said. On his continuation as chief advisor, the official said that it depends on requirement and necessity after the new person joins.
The State finance department has directed the PSUs and statutory boards repeatedly to formulate a succession plan to train available manpower while taking into account the retirement date of officers holding key positions to ensure smooth flow of work by successors.
But this has not been done and CMRL has violated the directive of the state government by re-employing officers beyond their age of superannuation. The finance department in its letter has stated that re-employment of retired personnel deprives the benefit of promotion to persons awaiting in the feeder post as well as chokes employment opportunity at entry level.
However, Chennai Metro is not the only organization re-employing retired officials. The newly formed Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), which recently appointed its chairman, is functioning with nearly 30 retired officials from Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority for more than one year.
A housing department official told Express that the regular staff sanction for RERA is under government consideration and when it is approved, it will be a mix of deputationists from different departments and few fresh hires. “The new staff pattern will be approved in the next couple of weeks, though the final orders may have to wait for Election Commission of India’s nod. The re-employed people are not a permanent arrangement and it wouldn’t last more than a few months,” the housing department official added.
The finance department has, in a letter to chief executive officers of state PSUs on January 29, 2015, stated that management of the organization can explore the possibility of engaging any of the serving officers coming under their control to look after day-to-day activities or any unfinished assignments by making suitable additional charge arrangements instead of re-employing retired officials.