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State exchequer set to feel the pinch says Assam’s Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma

UGC scales

Dispur wants officials to be good at filial duty to avoid salary cut!

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 27: Much to the cheer of faculties and other staff in university, government degree colleges, engineering and technical colleges, medical colleges and others, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that around 11,600 people are going to benefited with the decision taken by Dispur to pay UGC scales to such faculties and staff with retrospective effect from April 1, 2016. The State exchequer, however, is set to feel the pinch of this largesse.

The exchequer, according to the minister, has to cough up Rs 600 crore this year in the form of arrears to the faculties and other staff in such colleges and universities. This is part from the additional burden of Rs 176 crore which the exchequer is going to cough up annually for paying faculties and other staff in UGC scales, the minister said while talking to the media on Friday.

Sarma said: “The faculties and other staff, including librarians of universities, government colleges engineering colleges and polytechnics, medical colleges, dental colleges, ayurvedic colleges, pharmaceutical colleges and nursing colleges will be paid under UGC scales.”

Meanwhile, apart from his/her office duty, a government employee in Assam has to be good at his/her filial duty, failing which he/she will have to cough up an amount ranging from 10 per cent to 15 per cent of his/her gross salary monthly for the keep of parents.

With the parents-son/daughter relationship, as often as not, losing the cement to keep them together, Dispur has felt the necessity of such a step.

Come October 2, 2018, all employees in the State Government will come under the parameters of the PRANAM (Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring) Act. Under this Act, if a State Government employee is not a caregiver of his/her dependent parents, 10-15 per cent of his/her gross salary will be cut and deposited in the account of his/her parents.

Sarma said: “The government is going to form a four-member PRANAM Commission to be headed by a retired officer of the Additional Chief Secretary-level with four other members – two retired officials and as mnay from other fields.”

On the roadmap for such salary cuts from employees, the minister said: “Affected parents should move with a plea to the DDO (Drawal and Disbursal Officer) of the department concerned. The DDO will get into the complaint and take necessary action within a month. If any of the parties is not satisfied, the next appellate authority is the director of the department concerned who will take action within two months. If any of the parties is not satisfied, the final appellate authority is the PRANAM Commission that should take action within three months.”

Sarma further said: “We’re contemplating on bringing in this Act in semi-government and public sector units as well. We need to see the matter with the eye of a legal expert.”