The government is going to increase by one year the retirement age of freedom fighter officials and employees in public service for the second time in two and a half years.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who also holds charge of the public administration ministry, approved recently a proposal of the liberation war ministry for extending their service age to 60 years from 59.
She announced this yesterday at a reception accorded to the gallantry award recipient freedom fighters and their heirs at the Armed Forces Division.
Once the fresh extension of service age comes into force, it will cover around 11,000 serving officials and employees listed as freedom fighters by the liberation war ministry.
"A proposal for extending retirement age of the freedom fighter civil servants is likely to be placed at the next cabinet meeting for approval," a senior official of the liberation war ministry said yesterday.
This will be the third extension of service age by the present government.
Earlier in April 2010, retirement age of the freedom fighter civil servants was raised by two years to 59 from 57.
A year later, service age of other civil servants were also extended by two years, which made the age limit same for all (nearly 12 lakh) officials and employees. The freedom fighter public servants then started demanding increase of their service age by another two years.
In June this year, the liberation war ministry sent a proposal to the public administration ministry for extending retirement age of the freedom fighters. But it did not place the proposal before the cabinet and sent it back.
Within a week, the liberation war ministry took up the matter with the prime minister. The PM decided to extend the age limit by one year, sources in the liberation war ministry said.
In 2010, the extension of service age for freedom fighters by two years created a huge commotion among the rank and file of the civil administration. Many of them termed the step discriminatory.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, some bureaucrats who are not freedom fighters said the step would trigger adverse reaction in the entire administration. It would make only a small section, including some senior officials, happy, they added.
"The government should not irk the entire civil administration by rewarding a small section of civil servants," said a deputy secretary of the communications ministry. The step will also delay promotion of many, he added.