The Manipur government on Monday put on hold all ongoing recruitment processes across departments until further orders, citing the poor financial health of the state.
An order attributed to state Chief Secretary Rajesh Kumar said, “All the ongoing recruitment processes including daily wages, contract employment, muster roll direct recruitment being undertaken by all the departments, including all agencies, societies, undertakings, boards, corporations, among others under them, shall be put on hold with immediate effect. This also includes the written test examination and viva voce”.
The order further stated that any proposal for future recruitment has to be placed before a committee, headed by the chief secretary, to explore rationalisation of posts in all government departments and autonomous bodies. The same will be followed by a specific permission from the department of personnel, it added.
On September 21, 2020, the government came out with a similar order, suspending all ongoing recruitments barring those that were already underway with the approval of the cabinet. The crippling impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the state economy was the argument put forward to justify the order then.
Four days after putting recruitments on hold, the finance department went into austerity mode, announcing as many as 14 categories of non-essential expenditure that needed to be curbed in times of the pandemic. The government also introduced budgetary ceilings in the following month to cut down expenditure.
The state’s precarious financial position is likely to be prolonged as Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh, who also handles finance, informed at the just-concluded Budget Session of the Assembly that the revised estimated fiscal deficit for 2020-’21 has been pegged at Rs 3,743 crores, which is 9.93 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).