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Indian railways in plans for massive job cut, affecting nearly 3 lakh employees

The Indian Railways, which is the largest employer in the country with close to 1.4 million (approx 14 lakh employees), is planning for a massive job cut which could affect nearly 3 lakh employees.

The railway ministry has written to the heads of all railway zones informing about this move and has also asked them to review the performance of every employee in their respective zones.

The move could majorly impact railway employees who are above 55 years old.

The Railway ministry has also asked managers of each zone to prepare a list of employees who are above 55 years of age in their respective zones.

With this massive job cut move, the Indian Railways, which is the largest employer in the country, is aiming to bring the total strength of its employees to around 10 lakh from the present number which is somewhere between 13-14 lakh.

The railway ministry has asked zonal managers to prepare a list of those employees who would be completing 30 years of service in railways in the first quarter of 2020.

With this massive job cut move, the Indian Railways, which is the largest employer in the country, is aiming to bring the total strength of its employees to around 10 lakh from the present number which is somewhere between 13-14 lakh.

The railway ministry had sent the letter to railway officials on July 27 asked heads of each zone to revert with all the relevant information by August 9.

The performance of railway employees will be reviewed on the basis of their physical fitness, mental fitness, attendance, and discipline.

According to a railway official, this review is a routine process and if the performance of employees is not found up to the mark then there is a provision for premature retirement for them.

Adding to that, zonal managers have also been asked to review the performance of all railway employees.

According to a letter sent to the zonal general managers, the ministry has asked them to review the performance of all railway employees and prepare their service records.

In Union Budget 2019, Railways got an allocation of Rs 65,837 crore and the highest ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.60 lakh crore.

Last year, the outlay for the railways was Rs 1.48 lakh crore while the Budget allocation was Rs 55,088 crore.

In the Budget, funds of Rs 7,255 crore have been allocated for construction of new lines, Rs 2,200 crore for gauge conversion, Rs 700 crore for doubling, Rs 6,114.82 crore for rolling stock and Rs 1,750 crore for signalling and telecom – the allocations have remained the same as in the interim budget in February.

Sitharaman said that railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030 and proposed that a public-private partnership (PPP) be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services for railway projects to boost the connectivity.

“Railways will be encouraged to invest in suburban railways through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and enhance metro rail network through PPPs,” she said.

Government envisions using rivers for cargo transportation, which will also decongest roads and railways, Sitharaman said.

Railway stations modernisation will also be launched this year, she added.

Developing passenger amenities seem to be the focus of the government with the planned expenditure on that count being allocated Rs 3,422.57 crore which is an additional outlay of around Rs 1,000 crore for the comfort of rail users.

However, what will remain the Railways’ major headache would be its revenue expenditure which includes an estimated salary payout of Rs 86,554.31 crore, about Rs 14,000 crore more than last year.

The Budget estimates also allocated Rs 267.64 crore for Nirbhaya Fund including provision of Rs 250 crore for Integrated Emergency Response Management System (IERM) (Video Surveillance System) and Rs 17.64 cr for Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.

Estimates under Gross Traffic Receipts for the year 2019-20 have been placed at Rs 2,16,675 crore involving an increase of Rs 19,961 crore over the Revised Estimates 2018-19.

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