The Prime Minister's Office wanted to introduce a severance package for IAS and IPS officers to let them quit for greener pastures after 15 years of service but the move was aborted at the last moment.
The PMO was convinced that if the government was going to weed out the dead wood amongst All-India Service officers after 15 years, it was fair that good performers too be given the option to quit.
So far, government officers have to put in at least 20 years of service before they can get the pension benefit.
The Sixth Pay Commission and the Administrative Reforms Commission had backed demands from civil servants for a golden handshake if they resign before completing this period.
According to documents obtained by HT under RTI, TKA Nair, then Principal Secretary to the PM had convened a meeting in March 2011 to decide the severance package. The senior officials had estimated the severance package around R35.8 lakh.
The decision, however, was reversed in October 2011 at the instance of the department of pension which argued it was based on a flawed understanding of rules.
In a letter that practically spiked the PMO move, RC Misra, secretary of the department of pension, pointed that the severance package was being discussed on the premise that government officers sacked before completing 20 years were not entitled for pension.
This, he pointed, was only valid if officers wanted to quit on their own. Officers removed by the government are entitled to pension after 10 years.
Misra then went on to brush aside the need to allow AIS officers to quit before 20 years, emphasising that there was no question of allowing “identical benefits” for officers as there never had been any parity between officers sacked by the government and those quitting on their own.