Despite the relentless increase in its salary bill, the Centre may go on a hiring spree to fill over five lakh vacancies in various central organisations over the next two years, an official told FE, adding: “The government will have to undertake massive hiring as no one knows when the private sector will start hiring in a big way.”
Underlining the priority of the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday set up a Cabinet committee on employment and skill development, a move seen as a tacit acknowledgment of the failure of the last tenure of the government in creating enough jobs for the country’s rising labour force. As per data released on the same day (May 30) the Modi 2.0 Cabinet took charge, 7.8% of all employable urban youth were jobless during 2017-18, while the corresponding figure for rural India was 5.3%. While the joblessness among males on an all-India basis was 6.2%, it was 5.7% in case of females.
The vacancies in various government departments stood above five lakh as of December 2018, including 2,85,725 in railways (C & D level) and 84,037 in central armed police forces. The government was not happy with the slow pace of recruitment by leading recruitment commissions/ boards such as Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and railway recruitment boards and railway recruitment cells. “The government plans to have a separate recruitment board for central police forces to fast-track hiring,” another official aware of the
The Centre will also prod the state governments, majority of which are ruled by the BJP, to start filling up vacancies of around 20 lakh in health, education, etc, the sources added. However, the massive hiring would spike revenue expenditures both at the central and the state level. The Centre’s budget estimate for pay and allowance (civilian) is for Rs 2.35 lakh crore for FY20, up 8% from Rs 2.18 lakh crore in FY19.
Additionally, the Centre’s FY20BE for grants-in-aid-salaries for autonomous bodies is pegged at Rs 40,391 crore, 7% up from Rs 37,659 crore in FY19. The salary-related revenue expenditure will see further increase in budget allocations in the next two years, officials reckon. The number of central government employees is estimated to have reached 36.16 lakh on March 1, 2019, up from 34.88 lakh a year ago.