Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, left, talks with India's PM Narendra Modi at a meeting at BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani's residence in in 2009. Picture: RAVEENDRAN

New Delhi -

An Indian official who did not turn up for work for nearly a quarter of a century has been fired, the government said on Thursday.

AK Verma, an executive engineer with the Central Public Works Department had last appeared for work in December 1990.

The official “went on seeking extension of leave, that was not sanctioned and defied directions to report to work,” a government statement said.

Although an inquiry found him guilty of “wilful absence from duty” in 1992, it took the government more than two decades to take action against the official.

Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had intervened to remove Verma.

India's bureaucracy is notorious for laxity at work, delays and red-tape.

The country's labour laws make it difficult to remove staff.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been attempting to reverse this civil service culture.

Ministers have been conducting surprise checks at government departments. - Sapa-dpa