M A I N   N E W S

Officials’ laxity makes thousands
go without salary
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 2
Thousands of Punjab Government employees belonging to 27 departments all over the state have been penalised with their salary for October being withheld because their drawing and disbursement officers have not reconciled the records of the Group Insurance Scheme (GIS) of the employees with the district treasury offices concerned.

The Finance Secretary had issued a directive to all treasury officers in the state not to disburse the salary and other bills under 27 defaulting officers who have not got their GIS accounts tallied with the treasury offices. The directive was issued following a meeting with the district treasury officers on September 24.

Due to this, cheques for the withdrawal of salaries, which were to be issued on October 29, have not been issued till date. In the normal course, the employees would have received their salaries today.

According to sources, during the course of this meeting it was revealed that the drawing and disbursing officers were not providing information related to the GIS account to the Finance Department. Under the present system, Rs 120 is deducted from the salary of Class I officers under the scheme, Rs 90 from Class II, Rs 60 from Class III and Rs 30 from Class IV employees.

In the case of death of an employee, Rs 1.20 lakh is paid from the GIS account to the dependents of a Class I employee, Rs 90,000 for Class II, Rs 60,000 for Class III and Rs 30,000 in the case of a Class IV employee. A fraction of this money deposited under the GIS scheme is also given to the employees as part of pension. It is for the drawing and disbursement officers to submit a record on this issue to the Treasury.

It is also mandatory for the officers to issue a statement on the account in January every year, but this is seldom done.

The sources say that even departments which have accounts professionals posted as drawing and disbursement officers have defaulted. This is the case with the Civil Surgeon’s Office and Government Medical College.

Employee unions feel that officials who have not followed government instructions should be hauled up and employees should not be made to suffer during the festive season. Punjab Public Works Department Joint Action Committee president Darshan Singh Lobana has appealed that in view of Divali, the government should give a month’s time to the departments to conform with the directive on the GIS issue.

Classes III and IV employees of various departments held a two-hour dharna outside the office of the District Treasury Officer in the Mini Secretariat to protest against the non-release of their salaries. The employees raised slogans against Finance Minister Surinder Singla and the Secretary, Finance. Later in the evening, the treasury officer said it would release the salaries of departments whose Drawing and Disbursement Officers gave an undertaking that they would submit the record regarding the GIS scheme to the government by November 30.


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