Indian Railways got rid of one non-performer, corrupt official every 3 days

Indian Railways has weeded out one “non-performer or corrupt official” every three days in the past 16 months, officials have said. Some 139 officers have been forced to take voluntary retirement, while 38 have been removed from service during this period. Two senior-grade officers were sacked on Wednesday, sources said.

One of them was caught by the CBI with a bribe of Rs 5 lakh in Hyderabad, while the other was caught with Rs 3 lakh in Ranchi, they added.

“The (Railway) Minister (Ashwini Vaishnaw) is very clear about his missive of ‘performance or perish’. Every three days, we have weeded out one corrupt official from the Railways since July 2021,” an official has said.

The Railways has invoked Rule 56(J) of the Department of Personnel and Training service rules that says that a government employee can be forced to retire or be dismissed after being served a minimum of three months’ notice or pay for a similar period.

The move is a part of the Centre’s efforts to weed out non-performers. After he took office as Railway Minister in July 2021, Mr Vaishnaw has repeatedly warned officials “to take VRS and sit at home” if they did not perform.

Those forced to take voluntary retirement or sacked include officials from the electrical and signalling, medical and civil services and personnel from stores, traffic and mechanical departments.

Under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), an employee is paid a salary equivalent to two months’ pay for every year of service left.

But similar benefits are not available in compulsory retirement.

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