‘No decision to cut Karnataka govt employees’ wages’

( Several govt. employees hit hard by salary delays )

 

The Karnataka government has no plans of cutting the wages of government employees. While there have been speculations on social media on Monday that the government is planning to withhold one month’s salary of all government employees, this is  far from true, according to the Karnataka State Government Employees Association.

 

Title: ‘No decision to cut Karnataka govt employees’ wages’

File Type: Recruitment of PSI 2021

Number of posts: 501

File Language: Kannada

 

Responding to rumours that were afloat on social media, association president CS Shadakshari said as per practice, the state government usually consults the employees association before taking such decisions.

 

“There have been no such discussions until now. Hence, this is just a rumour. The association requests the employees not to pay heed to it,” an official statement from the association read.

 

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In the second week of August, as the State government continued with its effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a first division assistant (FDA) in Bengaluru wrote to his department head seeking permission to work as a “night shift security guard” to earn some money. For, since December 2019, he and many others in the department had not received their salaries.

The newly-appointed FDA in the Department of Stamps and Registration, in his letter to Inspector General of Registration, said that he had the responsibility to look after his pregnant wife and aged parents, which forced him to seek permission. He even said that his night shift duty would be performed without affecting his work in the department during the day. This letter nudged the department to streamline salary payments, a senior officer confirmed.

Over the last six months, several sections of the State government employees have complained about delay in release of salaries for varying periods, and in the case of the FDA, the delay began even before the pandemic broke.

Wage bill of the government employees in the State, including the grants-in-aid, is estimated to be over ₹10,000 crore a month. Karnataka is among the few States where drastic measures such as salary cuts for government employees was not resorted to while the annual leave encashment that had a significant outgo has been cancelled for this year.

 

Sources in Public Works Department said that the daily wage workers in Public Works and Irrigation Departments have not received salaries. Besides, the arrears of over 300 engineers will not be paid any time soon. “Because of the confusion over promotion-demotion, owing to the fight for consequential seniority, many engineers were in compulsory waiting period. Their arrears have now been withheld,” an official said. A few members of Karnataka Appellate Authority too had not received salaries till recently, while payment of salaries for teachers has remained erratic.

Similarly, workers hired by contractors to the government have not been paid salary in several cases. This, a senior Stamps and Registration Department official pointed out, is in two ways. “In some cases, contractors would have not raised a bill. In the case of DTP workers, contractors have not submitted bills. How can government pay without bill? In some cases, bills have been submitted, but payment has been delayed,” he said.


By Priya

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