Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meghalaya Pay Commission : 50% arrears by this fiscal: C.M. - Meghalaya Opposition demands total 60 % by Christmas

Chief minister Mukul Sangma today assured the Assembly that 50 per cent of the remaining pay arrears would be disbursed to the state’s employees within this financial year, depending on availability of funds.
The arrears would be released in accordance with the recommendations of the Meghalaya Fourth Pay Commission.
Last year, the state government had released 40 per cent arrears to all the government departments and assured the staff that the remaining 60 per cent would be released in the consecutive years.
To a question by NCP legislator James Sangma on the release of pending 60 per cent arrears, the chief minister said the government would try and release 50 per cent arrears within this financial year and the remaining 10 per cent at a later stage.
Raising a supplementary question, Opposition leader Conrad Sangma urged the government to ensure that the remaining amount of arrears be released in toto before Christmas this year. He also sought an assurance from the chief minister in this regard.
Conrad Sangma said the government should release the entire 60 per cent arrears within December this year to motivate the employees to work harder. Such a step, according to him, would instil confidence among the staff in various government departments.
The Opposition leader reminded the chief minister that the soft loan of Rs 545 crore taken by the government in January 2009 for development programmes was instead used for salary payment because of liabilities arising in view of the new payscale.
The chief minister admitted that the loan, taken from the Planning Commission, was used for payment of salary to the government employees.
Commenting on the pending arrears, the chief minister said as the state was currently facing financial constraints, it could release the pending arrears based on its funds position only.
“As the deficit school and college teachers are yet to avail the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission, the commitment made by the government to them would result in an additional expenditure of Rs 85 crore (deficit school teachers) and Rs 71 crore (college teachers),” Sangma said.
Deficit educational institutions are those run by the managing committees or private bodies, but avail the salary structure of the government teachers.
The chief minister also pointed out that despite the pay commission’s recommendations to implement the new payscale from January 1, 2008, the state government had decided to implement it from January 1, 2007, to ensure that the employees get the benefits of one more year.
“We have taken this step despite the empty coffers the government had inherited,” Sangma added.
He, however, said the state government was committed to tide over the financial crisis so that the employees could get the arrears.

Source : The Telegraph.
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