Days after it blocked the Home department’s proposal seeking appointment of a retired IAS officer, Prithi Chand, as OSD to Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda, the finance department is now in the process of taking a call on a file pertaining to revised emoluments of an AG sent by the Home department. Following a correspondence from the Home department which came with terms and conditions relating to retainership fee and other allowances to be given to AG, the finance department, sources said, is all set to put the ball in the court of the Home department to take a call.
As per the terms and conditions sent by the Home department, AG is to be paid a retainership fee of Rs 2.5 lakh per month, revised from Rs 1.10 lakh retainership fee paid earlier, or the pay or allowances admissible to a cabinet minister.
Retainership fee is the amount paid to an AG for not taking up any case against the government. Former AG during the SAD-BJP government used to get Rs1.10 lakh as retainership fee.
“The Administrative department (in this case Home department) will take a decision whether AG is to be paid all pay and allowances, perks equivalent to a cabinet minister or otherwise. In case this is done, do his pay, allowances and perks exceed that of a cabinet minister,” sources in the financial department said.
While justifying the hike in retainership fee of AG from Rs1.1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh, the Home department pointed out that after revision of the renumerations, an Additional AG was entitled to get a revised renumeration of Rs 1.4 lakh and this created an “anomaly”, necessitating revision of the retainership fee.
According to the Finance department official, the retainership fee of AG was revised to Rs 2.5 lakh along with others on November 3, 2016, but could not be implemented after the code of conduct was imposed for the Punjab Assembly elections.