BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Monday told the Assembly that a decision on the demand for increasing the upper age limit for government jobs will be taken after studying the practices adopted by other States. This was informed by Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera while replying to a debate on the Appropriation Bill, 2018. He had presented a `1,20,028 crore budget for 2018-19 financial year in the Assembly on March 23.
Raising the issue, ruling BJD member Mahesh Sahu requested the State Government to fill up the existing vacancies in Government departments and increase the upper age limit for Government jobs from 32 to 40 years to enable a large number of unemployed youths who have already crossed age bar.
Leader of the BJP legislature party had also raised the issue during zero hour. Citing examples of other states, KV Singhdeo said Goa and Telangana have revised the upper age limit to 45 and 44 respectively. Similarly, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh have increased it to 42 years. He urged the State Government to raise the age bar to 42 years.
Responding to opposition allegation that the State Government has failed on all fronts, the Finance Minister said State Government has laid stress on agriculture, irrigation, education, health, skill development, drinking water supply, rural development, food and social security in the budget. “The State has made a provision of `62,000 crore for programme expenditure which is more that 50 per cent of the total budget. While an outlay of `16,765 crore has been made for agriculture, the budget for irrigation is `10,196 crore,” he said.
Highlighting some of the major initiatives taken by the State Government, Behera said the ‘Ama Gaon Ama Vikas’ (Our Village, Our Development) is one of the new programmes in which the Chief Minister directly reaches out to the people through video conferencing, listens to their needs and sanctions projects as per their requirements. A provision of `1,250 crore has been made in the budget, he added.
Claiming that the debt burden of the State is well within the permissible limit (25 per cent of GSDP), the Finance Minister said debt to GSDP (gross state domestic products) ratio is 16.5 per cent.Initiating the debate on the Bill, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra slammed the State Government for not making any provision for unemployed youths even as 1.38 lakh posts are lying vacant. Making a strong plea for regularisation of teachers working in schools and colleges on contractual basis, Mishra demanded equal pay for equal work. He also urged the Government to increase pension under social security programmes from `300 to `1000 per month.The Appropriation Bill was passed in voice vote allowing the State Government to utilise the annual budget of `1,22,723 crore for the current fiscal.
● Finance Minister had presented a `1,20,028 crore budget for 2018-19 financial year on March 23
● Raising the upper age limit for Government jobs from 32 to 40 years demanded
● The age bar is 45 in Goa and 44 in Telangana while it is
42 years in Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh
● `62,000 crore provision for programme expenditure