Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has abolished contractual system of employment and regularised the services of its present contractual employees.
This was announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in an address to the people after cabinet decision on Saturday evening.
“I am delighted to announce that the State Cabinet has decided to abolish the contractual system of recruitment permanently. Even today, there are no regular recruitments in many states and they are still continuing with the contractual recruitment system. But in Odisha, the era of contractual recruitment has come to an end,” he said.
Stating that the notification will come out on Sunday, he said more than 57,000 employees will benefit. The government will spend around Rs 1,300 crore per annum.
The Chief Minister further said, “In 2000, with the blessings of all of you I got an opportunity to serve mother Odisha. The post-Super Cyclone situation and the fragile financial conditions then were biggest challenges for me. The state was running on overdraft. The government was dependent on Reserve Bank of India for wage and means.”
“It was indeed a black period for the Odisha economy. The state exchequer was empty. There was tremendous pressure on our economy. We were lagging behind in various fields including health, education, infrastructure, agriculture, irrigation and many others. Our priority then was to bring improvement in all these sectors within our limited resources,” he added.
Under the circumstances, the government was forced to abolish regular posts. “It was a difficult decision and very painful for me. The youths of my state were running from pillar to post for employment. The only thing that was on top of my mind was – when would the situation improve? When would our children get regular recruitment in state government?,” Naveen said.
He further said the blessings of Lord Jagannath and support of people has been his biggest strength. With better financial management and good governance, the situation started to improve slowly.
“Now our economy has improved significantly. Odisha has created a new identity for itself in the field of development in the country. Last year, we substituted the contractual recruitment posts with initial appointee,” he said.
It may be noted that thousands of contractual employees working in different government departments staged a massive demonstration in September, demanding total abolition of the contractual appointment system in the state administration.
On October 13, the Odisha Government Contractual Employees Association (OGCEA) claimed that the CM had assured to abolish the contractual appointment rules within a month following a discussion.