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The ministers in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s cabinet have now started pushing for recruitment in their respective departments as filling up vacant posts in the government was one of the major poll planks of Congress ahead of the Legislative Assembly polls. However, the Finance Department, which is hard-pressed for resources, is taking a cautious approach.
According to the government data, as of July 2023, a total of 2.55 lakh posts are vacant, including Group ‘A’ officers and other staff posts.
School Education and Literacy, Health and Family Welfare, Home and Revenue departments are among those with a high number of vacancies, while Transport, Labour, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry are some of the departments that have set targets to fill up vacancies at the earliest.
Sources in the finance department told DH, “The Finance Department is by and large approving recruitment for sanctioned posts as these don’t have immediate financial implications. However, the department is being cautious considering the financial constraints on the state this year.”
The overarching focus this year is to shore up revenues for implementation of the five guarantees.
The Transport department is looking to fill 13,000 vacancies at the earliest across all four transport corporations, Minister Ramalinga Reddy told DH.
The last recruitment was done in 2016 when he held the same portfolio. Over the last seven years, about 16,000 staff have retired without any recruitment for filling up these vacancies, he alleged.
The recruitment proposal is for Group ‘C’ posts including drivers, conductors and mechanics. The target is to fill all these posts by the year’s end, the minister said. “Since these are sanctioned posts, only a formal approval is required by the DPAR and the Finance Department,” he added.
The Labour Department too has sent a proposal to the Finance Department for recruitment to 150 posts. As per data, there are 2,508 unfilled posts in the department. The department will take a staggered approach over the next five years to fill these vacancies, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said.
Agriculture and Home are two other departments which have pitched for recruitment.
However, not all departments are having it easy. Sources in the Animal Husbandry Department lamented that departments, like theirs and sericulture, were among those on the least priority. “We keep sending proposals, but only a fraction of our requirement gets the approval,” sources said.
Mohan Kumar, state vice president of the Government Employees’ Association explained that the daily functioning of departments would take a beating if the government does not speed up recruitment.
“The most number of vacancies are in Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ posts. These are the most crucial for any department’s functioning,” he said, giving the example of data entry operators, the lifeline of government departments.
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