The Congress on Saturday demanded that the Centre withdraw its circular calling for a freeze on the creation of new posts, and urged it to create more vacancies while filling the existing ones in the wake of the alleged rise in unemployment.
As part of measures to rationalise non-priority expenditure, the government on Friday asked all ministries and departments to review appointments of consultants, curtail functions among other steps. It said there will be a ban on the creation of new posts, except with the approval of the expenditure department.
However, the Ministry of Finance clarified on Saturday that there is no restriction or ban on filling up of posts in the Government of India, and the Department of Expenditure circular deals with internal procedure for creation of posts. It does not in anyway affect or curtail recruitment, the ministry tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi earlier hit out at the Centre over the issue, alleging that the Modi dispensation’s thinking is “minimum government, maximum privatisation”.
The COVID-19 pandemic is just an excuse and the intention is to make government offices “free” of permanent staff, he alleged on Twitter.
“Rob the future of the youth and promote friends,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi and urged the people to speak up.
In another tweet, Gandhi also reacted to the railway recruitment board exams, saying, “They can shut out dislikes, comments, but not your voice. We will keep putting forward your views in front of the world.”
At an online media briefing, Congress leader and former Union minister Rajeev Shukla said the government has come out with the circular which has suggested that new jobs cannot be created at all and the vacancies which are already existing should not be filled.
“This is a very alarming situation since the country’s economy is already in doldrums. Our GDP has gone down -23.9 per cent. An ILO report suggests that 40 crore people are going to be below the poverty line.
“So, in this situation, if the government stops helping people, if the government stops creating new jobs, if the government is not coming forward or stepping up to support the young people, then who is going to support them,” he asked.
The private sector is already into retrenchment because its financial situation is very bad, he said.
“The Congress demands that more and more vacancies and posts should be created, existing ones should be filled immediately and people should be provided employment,” Shukla said.
All those sectors where more employment opportunities can be created should be helped, Shukla said.
The government should reconsider and withdraw this circular, he said
“The second part of the circular is suggesting that the government expenditure in certain areas should be curbed, but, there are very trivial like the use of (imported) paper, the celebration of foundation day, and stopping of distributing bags and mementos,” he said.
“How much are you going to save? Few thousands, few lakhs (of rupees), that is not going to make any difference.
“Actually, the government should reconsider all those projects… from which you are trying to derive publicity and you have been spending thousands and thousands of crores on those projects, those projects for the time being should be stopped,” he said.
He reminded the BJP of its “poll promise” to give “two crore jobs every year”.
“Here, the authentic data is showing that two crore people have lost jobs in a few months,” Shukla claimed.
“The Congress demands from the government that in this moment of economic crisis, it should step up its efforts and come forward to help the people instead of backing out,” Shukla said.
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