No ban on hiring in govt jobs, govt clarifies on circular row

Rahul Gandhi attacked Centre after a Department of Expenditure circular, which froze some non-developmental expenditures

The circular had announced "a ban on creation of new posts, except with the approval of Department of Expenditure, in Ministries/Departments, Attached Offices, Subordinate Offices, Statutory Bodies and Autonomous Bodies." Photo: PTI

Under attack from the opposition for allegedly freezing government recruitment, the Centre has clarified that “coronavirus pandemic has not affected or curtailed recruitment for government jobs”.

Criticism from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had its roots in a Department of Expenditure circular which, Gandhi said, was meant to “steal the youth’s future”.

In the circular, dated September 4, the Department of Expenditure, which comes under the Ministry of Finance, banned some non-developmental expenditures to “ensure availability of adequate resources for meeting the needs of critical priority schemes”.

The document also announced “a ban on creation of new posts, except with the approval of Department of Expenditure, in Ministries/Departments, Attached Offices, Subordinate Offices, Statutory Bodies and Autonomous Bodies.”

Rahul Gandhi tagged a news report and commented on Twitter: “The Modi government’s thinking is minimum government, maximum privatisation. Covid is just an excuse, the government’s plan is to free government offices of all permanent staff, steal the youth’s future and propel his own friends forward.”

The Centre issued a clarification. “The Dept. of Expenditure circular dated 04 Sept 2020 deals with internal procedure for creation of posts and does NOT in any way affect or curtail recruitment,” the Ministry of Finance tweeted in reply.

“There is no restriction or ban on filling up of posts in Govt of India. Normal recruitments through govt agencies like Staff Selection Commission, UPSC, Rlwy Recruitment Board, etc will continue as usual without any curbs,” the tweet added.

India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth contracted 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter. This also marked its entry into a recessionary phase this year.

The Congress, meanwhile, demanded that the Centre withdraw the circular, urging it to create more vacancies while filling the existing ones in the wake of rising unemployment.

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, PTI reported.

Rahul Gandhi also reminded the BJP of its “poll promise” to give “two crore jobs every year”.

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