To cut flab and weed out underperformers, zonal railway offices have been asked to compile a list of staffers who will be attaining 55 years of age or completing 30 years of service by the first quarter of 2020, sources in the ministry said.

Those in this category found ineligible to continue in service would be offered premature retirement, they said.

“Zonal Railways are, therefore, requested to furnish the service records of staff in an enclosed proforma, who will be attaining age of 55 years or will be completing 30 years of service qualifying for pension, whichever occurs earlier, in the first quarter of 2020 that is from January to March 2020,” the letter from the Railway Board to the zonal offices said.

The letter, dated July 27, stated that the board has given August 9 as the last date for submission of the details.

“This is part of a periodic review that we are undertaking in which employees whose performance is not up to the mark or have disciplinary issues will be offered premature retirement. This government is very serious about this,” a source said.

The Lok Sabha was recently informed that the performance of over 1.19 lakh Group-A and Group-B officers across government departments had been reviewed between 2014 and 2019 in relation to premature retirement clause.

The sources said as of now, there are 13 lakh railway employees and the ministry wants to bring it down to 10 lakh by 2020.

Zonal railway offices have been asked to access records related to an employees mental and physical fitness, attendance and punctuality.

There is also a section in which it has been queried if the employee is cost-conscious, how he deals with correspondence and his discipline are to be rated.