MUMBAI: Maharashtra government has decided to cut down its workforce by one third. The finance department of the state government has sent out the note to all the departments and have asked them to submit their new government patterns with 30 per cent less work by the yearend.
The state is facing a huge burden in wake of implementation of the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission for the state government employees. That is the reason why the administration has been contemplating on a leaner workforce. Along with the burden due to Seventh Pay Commission, the digitisation, computerisation and outsourcing are being cited, in the note, as the primary reason that has cut down the need for a huge workforce.
Currently, the state government has around 19 lakh employees. According to the new employment patterns that have been sought, it is being estimated that the workforce would be leaner by 5.5 to 6 lakhs, which has led to a panic amongst the state government employees.
Though the directives have been sent to all the departments, the Water Resources, Rural Development and Minority Affairs are the only three departments who have submitted their revised employment patterns to the finance department, sources have said.
When asked, minister of state for the finance department, Deepak Kesarkar, said that this should not be seen as an effort to cut down the workforce.
“The Seventh Pay Commission has put a burden of thousands of crore rupees on the state government. While planning the resources one had to think in terms of how many long-term obligations one is making,” Kesarkar said.
“This is not a job cut. The nature of work is changing. Several posts have become redundant. Many new posts too have become necessary. Hence, it is necessary to develop new patterns of employment. This is an administrative exercise aimed at good governance,” he added.
The Federation of Gazetted officers’, however, has opposed the move.
“Over two lakh posts in the administration are already vacant and we have been demanding that these posts need to be filled in as soon as possible. Several departments are heavily understaffed considering their work pressures. In such a situation we would oppose the move that appears to be aimed at cutting down the 30 per cent of workforce,” said G D Kulthe, advisor of the federation.