The Centre on Saturday clarified that a Department of Expenditure circular issued on Friday to cut official spending amid an economic crisis will not affect or curtail recruitment for government jobs.
The clarification came hours after the Congress demanded that the Centre withdraw the circular calling for a "freeze" on the creation of new posts, urging it to create more vacancies while filling the existing ones in the wake of a rise in unemployment.
"The Department of Expenditure circular dated September 4, 2020, deals with internal procedure for creation of posts and does not in anyway affect or curtail recruitment," the Finance Ministry said in a tweet on Saturday.
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. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/paQfrNzVo5— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) September 5, 2020
It clarified that there would be no restriction or ban on filling up of central government posts. "Normal recruitments through government agencies like Staff Selection Commission, UPSC, Railway Recruitment Board, etc. will continue as usual without any curbs," it said.
The Dept. of Expenditure circular dated 04 Sept 2020 deals with internal procedure for creation of posts and does NOT in anyway affect or curtail recruitment. (2/2)— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) September 5, 2020
The Department of Expenditure had in the earlier circular banned some non-developmental expenditures to "ensure availability of adequate resources for meeting the needs of critical priority schemes".
The document announced a "ban on the creation of new posts" except with the approval of Department of Expenditure, in Ministries/Departments, Attached Offices, Subordinate Offices, Statutory Bodies and Autonomous Bodies. The Department comes under the Ministry of Finance.
Sources say it was at the Prime Minister's instance that the Ministry of Finance decided to cut costs. This is also to ensure that the resources are channelised to investment in these key sectors.
The ministry has issued the instructions on expenditure management with a view to improving the quality of public expenditure, containing non-developmental spending and ensuring availability of adequate resources for critical priority schemes, the Department of Expenditure had said on Friday.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi 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. At an online media briefing, Congress leader and former Union minister Rajeev Shukla had 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.