The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is contemplating discontinuing two-year extension in service being given to its employees. Reason: Not so sound financial health of the board. Since 2013, the board has been giving extension to all its employees — from Group A to Group D — beyond the age of retirement on the pattern of the Chandigarh Administration. There are around 700 employees working in the board. A total of 20 are working on extension. The salary bill of the board is Rs 2 crore per month.
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As per the statement to be tabled in the board meeting scheduled to be held on November 18, CHB has funds to the tune of only around Rs 250 crore at its disposal which are not sufficient to meet the financial implications on account of payment of salaries, other benefits to the employees and launching the new housing projects.
The controversial high-end residential project ‘Prideasia’ in Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park involving Parsvnath Developers Ltd, which failed to take off, financially dented the board.
CHB had allotted land measuring 123 acres to developer Parsvnath Developers Ltd in 2005. The project, which was to be completed in three years, failed to take off. After this, both the parties went for arbitration. In 2014, Parsvnath surrendered the land to the board in return for money they had paid.
The failed project cost the board dear, as it ended up paying Rs 49.70 crore on account of land and stamp duty; Rs 91.36 crore as income tax and Rs 572 crore as award of arbitrator to Parsvnath Developers Pvt on behalf of the Chandigarh Administration, which is yet to be recovered from the administration.
The board is also of the view that no major housing project is going on at present except for a small scheme of construction of 200 two-bedroom flats in Sector 51.
Despite repeated attempts, CHB chairman Maninder Singh was not available for comment.
The matter will be placed before the board meeting scheduled to be held on November 18 for taking a decision whether extension in service to employees should be granted or not.
Prem Kaushik, one of the board members, said: “It’s going to be a collective decision of all the members after taking into account all the aspects.”
Recently, CITCO had also discontinued its decision of granting two-year extension to its employees beyond the age of retirement due to its depleting financial health. Both CHB and CITCO have to generate funds to meet all its expenditures and receive no financial assistance from the administration.