Mamata Banerjee's government has announced festival bonus for those state government employees who belong to the minority community.
KOLKATA: In its bid to appease the Muslim population before next year's Assembly elections, Mamata Banerjee's government has announced festival bonus for those state government employees who belong to the minority community. These employees whose monthly salaries are within Rs Rs 24,000 will get Rs 3,200 as festival bonus on July 15, ahead of the Eid.
State finance minister Amit Mitra told reporters that the government will have to bear an additional expenditure of Rs 400 crore for the purpose. "The state government will. 400 crore for the payment use of bonus and festival advance to our employees. This is a gesture on our part before the festival season," Mitra said af ter announcing the scheme.
But the finance minister remained silent about payment of dearness allowances (DA) to its employees. Presently, state government employees are getting lower DA than those who are employed with Central government establishments and there has been a very strong resentment among the state government employees over this discrimination.
A senior official of the finance depart ment said that the government might announce a significant increase in payment of DA to its employees by the year end or early next year.
Assembly elections in Bengal will take place before May in 2016 and by announcing DA payment before that Mamata's government might take the opportunity to appease its employees before the polls.Apart from giving festival bonus, the state government has also decided to give festival advance to its employees. Employees whose salaries fall between Rs 35,000, are Rs 24,000 and eligible to take festival ad vance worth Rs 3500. But the employees will have to repay this advance maximum in eight instalments.
State government employees who do not belong to the minority community, will also get festival bonus which will be paid to them between October 5 and 9.
Facing disparity in salaries of employees, the Delhi government’s information and publicity department’s employees are accusing the city administration of “grave discrimination and injustice,” asserting that the situation has become so bad that the payscale of officers has become equivalent to that of a head clerk in other government departments. “In the last 30 years the state government has not paid any attention to the payscale and as a result these government officials have become a bunch of leftouts,” a information and publicity department official said.
The official said the services and finance departments adopted “double standards” in the case of ex-cadre officers and officials and as a result, the case has “become a glaring example of red tape babugiri, where no action has been taken at administrative level.”
Anomaly, according to protesters, arose after 5th Pay Commission in the directorate when the former cadre officials/officers were discriminated against because of reasons unknown and without any basis. “As a matter of fact, the payscale of cadre posts was fixed on the higher side in 5th Pay Commission whereas till the 4th Pay Commission the situation was quite contrary where information officers payscale was equal to that of the administrative officers and that of publicity assistants was equal to the assistant/head clerk (Grade II).” The information officers of the Delhi government’s information and publicity department are selected by the UPSC, as in case of DANICS. The information officers join the government as gazetted officers through UPSC with essential qualification of a degree with three years of professional experience of the media whereas the cadre officials are recruited through DSSSB with a qualification of degree only as a non-Gazetted official.
The directorate of information and publicity is the nodal department for the government work of information and publicity and the secretary (PR) is the competent authority as well as administrative and financial decision regarding post creation and financial matters of the directorate. The officials noted that the state government increased the pay scale of DASS cadre without the approval/recommendations of the Central Pay Commission, but the finance and services departments were playing a delaying tactics in their case.
“The services department never forwarded the case of pay increase of the officers of the directorate to the Central Pay Commission whereas the payscale of cadre officers and officials were increased three times without sending their case to the Central Pay Commission.”
HINDU, JUL 09, 2015
Pay commission pitches for 13.5 per cent salary hike
The Tenth Pay Revision Commission is likely to recommend 12 to 13.5 per cent increase in the salary of State government employees and teachers.
Finance Department sources told The Hindu here that the commission headed by former High Court Judge C.N. Ramachandran Nair and comprising former Director of Treasuries K.V. Thomas as member-secretary and a lawyer T.V. George as member is likely to recommend similar benefits for service pensioners too. Pensioners would get an enhancement at this range, sources said.
The commission is likely to recommend the merger of dearness allowance (DA) with the basic pay (the DA now is nearly 80 per cent of the basic). That is, an employee with a basic salary of Rs.10,000 now will get a revised basic of Rs.18,000.
The commission was reported to be in favour of increasing the retirement age from the present 56 years. Considering the financial constraint of the government, the commission would recommend to fix the retirement age at 58 years. The recommendation is expected to give a breather to the government. For, it would relieve the compulsion to disburse substantial sums as retirement benefits at least for the next two years.
Being a sensitive political issue, the government would have to weigh all options before accepting the recommendation, sources said. Leave surrender and such other benefits being enjoyed by the employees would continue without changes. Pensioners’ organisations had been raising a demand for medical insurance scheme.
The commission is likely to recommend an insurance scheme for pensioners as well as employees and teachers. This would be a comprehensive scheme and would replace the medical reimbursement scheme now in force, sources said.
The government, as part of its austerity measures and additional resource mobilisation efforts, decided to identify excess temporary posts in various departments. It also decided to do away with about 33,062 posts which a Secretary-level committee had identified as excess in phases.
The decision had invited public wrath as it had affected the service delivery in many departments such as Health and Revenue. The commission would recommend a system for redeploying the excess employees. The report would be submitted on Friday.