BENGALURU: The Karnataka government has decided to extend freeze on recruitments in all government departments until early 2021 as it is yet to recover the losses wrought by Covid-induced lockdown.
After the lockdown took effect in the third week of March, the Karnataka finance department directed all departments in July to suspend recruitment processes, besides stopping release of funds for new projects.
Sources said any decision to remove the freeze on hiring is likely to be considered by November or December, depending on the pace of recovery of the economy. However, recruitment of doctors and paramedical staff has been going on unaffected mainly due to better fight the pandemic.
In the past two months, hundreds of candidates who have been selected for government jobs have been asked to wait for appointment letters. A case in point is the indefinite strike launched by 300 PU teachers on Tuesday who have not been given appointment letters yet despite the recruitment process drawing to a close nearly two months ago.
On Tuesday, opposition leader Siddaramaiah, in a tweet, urged the chief minister to issue appointment letters to all 1,203 selected candidates. Similarly, junior engineers and lab technicians who have been selected are yet to get joining letters.
‘Mission-critical jobs given on contract at less cost’
Sources said the finance department directive says those who have been selected should not be issued appointment letters yet.
The CM, in a written statement to the legislature in the recently concluded session, had said recruitments and replacements in Hyderabad-Karnataka region have been withheld as “it is impossible to allow further expenditure” as the state was reeling under Covid impact. He was replying to a query raised by Chittapur MLA Priyank Kharge, and said the decision was taken to consolidate the state’s finances and rationalize its expenditure.
Sources said the no-hiring order is relaxed in very rare exceptions, with the blessings of top-most echelons in the administrative machinery. According to finance department officials, mission-critical jobs are outsourced or given on contract at a lesser cost.
Nearly 60% of the state’s budgetary expenditure is towards salaries of employees. The present budget estimate is Rs 2.3 lakh crore, with additional Rs 33,000 crore through borrowings.