In the process of donning a corporate look, outsourcing has become the new mantra for the grand old party of India.
Taking a leaf from the private sector, the 125-year-old Congress has decided to trim its workforce and outsource jobs to up efficiency and cut down on salary expenses.
As a first step, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has offered a “golden handshake” to its 134 permanent employees. Its total staff strength is 300.
“As the number of employees in AICC is more than is actually required, it is proposed to reduce the numbers,” said an AICC circular, a copy of which is with HT. “The Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) is a step in that direction,” said the circular drafted by AICC Treasurer Motilal Vora.
It appears that the manpower planning through shedding and outsourcing are a few drawn out action plans of the Congress before the party shifts its headquarters from 24, Akbar Road to 9-A Kotla Road in a year or two. The construction of the building, the foundation stone for which was laid by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on December 28 last year, is on in full swing.
According to the circular, employees seeking VRS will be entitled to an ex-gratia payment equivalent to two and three months of salary depending upon their number of years in service. The employees will also get other benefits such as gratuity and leave encashment.
The early retirement plan would be in operation for one month from July 1 and the AICC reserves the right to accept or reject applications.
The scheme has evoked mixed reactions from the employees. “It will surely increase efficiency. There are some employees who don’t work at all and indulge in gossip,” said a staffer.
There are others who condemned the move. “Where do we go at this stage of our lives?” lamented an elderly employee. Sources said that 40 employees have decided to accept the “golden handshake”.