Terming it as Diwali bonanza, the SAD-BJP alliance government in Punjab on Tuesday finally approved regularisation of the services of its over 30,000 employees working on contract/ad hoc/daily-wages/temporary/work-charged basis in various government departments, boards, corporations and societies in the state.
The decision, which would cost state exchequer an additional Rs 2,000 crore annually post entitlement of such employees to get regular scales after three years, comes in the run-up to 2017 Assembly polls.
The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The cabinet also decided that the employees working on contract through private outsourcing agencies or contractors would be absorbed by the government as contract employees with immediate effect.
A sub-committee headed by Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had held a number of meetings on the issue of regularisation of services of temporary employees before taking a final decision in a meeting on Monday.
A spokesperson from the Chief Minister’s Office said, “It may be recalled that the last decision on regularisation of employees was also taken during the SAD-BJP government in its last tenure when more than 45,000 contract employees were absorbed as regular members of the government staff. Whereas no employees were regularised during the 2002-2007 tenure of the Congress government headed by Captain Amarinder Singh. On the contrary, the Amarinder government had slapped a blanket ban on fresh recruitment and regularisations. Even the posts falling vacant due to retiring employees were scrapped or allowed to lapse so that they could not be filled even at a future date. However, the SAD-BJP government filled those posts with contractual employees who have now been regularised with today’s decision.”
“Both the CM and the Deputy CM were of the view that these contractual employees had come to the aid of the government when the latter required their services at a short notice and had been working diligently and conscientiously since then. They have gained precious experience on the job, which cannot be allowed to go in vain. The state owes it to the families of these employees to absorb them now as regular and proud members of the government,” the spokesperson said.
Till the time the employees get regular scales after three years, the Cabinet has decided to protect their existing pay. One of the ministers present in the meeting said the existing pay would be “protected and frozen” till the employees were entitled to regular scales after completion of probation period of three years.
The Cabinet also directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that all the cases related to employment on compassionate grounds in all departments should be decided and disposed of on priority within a period of three weeks.
The Cabinet further decided that the entire backlog of posts related to all reserved categories which included scheduled castes, backward classes and the physically handicapped should be immediately filled up through a special recruitment drive.
Grant for war widows
Special grant-in-aid of Rs 50 lakh to be given to each of the war widows or their legal heirs in 100 cases wherein they could not avail the benefit earlier for some reasons and applied till the extended cut-off date of January 4, 2010. The grant would be payable in three half-yearly instalments of Rs 20 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 15 lakh.