In A major decision,which is likely to invoke a strong reaction from government employees,the Punjab finance department has decided to reduce the commutation of pension from the current 40 per cent to 20 per cent.
A notification to this effect was issued by the department on April 22 and will be applicable to all those employees who will retire from government service from April 1. The employees who are on a one-year extended service after their retirement since October 2012 will also be affected by the order.
Till now,a employee,on the day he retired,could have asked the government to pay him 40 per cent of the pension he was scheduled to get for a period of 15 years. Now,this has now been reduced to 20 per cent. With this decision,which received the nod in the last cabinet meeting but was not made public till the notification was issued,the government stands to save over Rs 150 crore.
The commuted portion of the pension will be eligible for restoration after 15 years from the actual date of commutation, the notification stated.
When asked,a finance department official said: This has been done keeping in view enhancement in pensions following the recommendations of the fifth pay commission. Moreover,retirement benefits of employees had increased and caused an unbearable burden on the states finances.
The new notification is applicable to those employees who will retire from April 1 and also those who are on one year extension and are set retire on or after April 1. Moreover,it is also applicable to those employees who retired before April 1 but have not applied for commutation till date and those who are retiring on or after April 1 but their commutation has been sanctioned
Subsidy for planters enhanced
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday announced that the government will enhance the subsidy on diggers,graders and planters from 10 per cent to 50 per cent. The decision was taken during a meeting with a deputation of potato growers. Meanwhile,Commissioner (Food and Civil Supply) Satwant Singh Johal said the Centre has acceded to Punjabs demand to reuse used gunny bales to ensure hassle free paddy procurement. All government procurement agencies have been asked to use old gunny bales,in case new ones are out of stock. The moment fresh gunny bales are received,the practice of using the old ones will be stopped, he added.