Objecting to the clause of ‘lock-in’ period for ‘salary-arrears’ in the now implemented 7th pay commission, 60,000 members of Goa Government Employees Association (GGEA) will meet the state government on Friday. The employee union feels that government’s decision to withhold their arrears is largely due to paucity of funds due to the impact of demonetisation.
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“Without giving us any option, the revised pay (arrears) from January 1st to December 31st will be directly deposited to Government Provident Fund (GPF) with a lock-in period of three-years – this is unreasonable. Union members have expressed that they had several financial commitments planned prior to this decision. But with this vague sudden announcement, they are not in the capacity to go ahead with their commitments,” GGEA President John Nazareth told The Indian Express.
Nazareth said that the state government must have consulted or taken the GGEA members into confidence before making abrupt changes in the payments structure – which according to him has left about 60,000 beneficiaries at lurch.
Another union member said that the state, already hit-by poor mining yields, is now facing the impact from demonetisation. “It’s an open secret that there is shortage of cash-flow after the central government’s announcement of demonetisation and despite assurances the state government is unable to overcome by its after-effects. Subsequently, the state government is toeing-up with its central leadership’s decision (demonetisation) and covering-up with schemes such schemes (lock-in) and further adding to our inconvenience,” he said
In the special meeting convened on late Thursday evening- GGEA members also demanded that the government roll-back certain advance facilities – which has been removed following the implementation of 7th Pay Commission. “Earlier, government extended loans for instance to purchase vehicles at lower interest rates. Also, the duration for he repayment of these loans was longer compared to the private loans. We want the government to re-introduce these facility,” Nazereth said.
On Wednesday the Goa government issued notification over the implementation of 7th Pay Commission’s recommendation that would benefit 55,000 incumbent and 45,000 ex-employees. As per the order the revised payscale for government employees would reflect on their pay-cheque starting from January 2017.