The sixth pay commission may have brought in enough good news for both current and former government employees, but paucity of funds seems to be holding the cheers back. Around 2,500 retired employees of the Nagpur Zilla Parishad (ZP) are yet to receive the first installment of their pension arrears, even as the second installment becomes due on March 31. As per the recommendations of the pay panel, the retired were to receive pension as per the revised scale from January 1, 2006.
However, the recommendations were made much later and hence the state government decided to pay the extra money in the form of arrears in five installments. The first of these installments was due in June last year, but have not been paid. Even as the second installment becomes due on Wednesday, the accounts department of the Zilla Parishad is claiming that it does not have enough funds to pay the arrears. Chief accounts and finance officer A D Hemke told TOI that the state government has sent funds that are even lesser than last year and also recalled any surplus funds that may have been available with the ZP accounts department. That coupled with the salary revision of some of the ZP employees has further increased the amount of money to be distributed.
“Last year, the state government had given Rs 31 crore to distribute as salary and pension. This year, even though we have to pay the arrears along with the regular salary payments, we have received only Rs 28 crore. We have just two options. Either we stop regular payments and pay arrears, or we stop arrears and continue the regular payments, including pension and salary,” Hemke said. “Nevertheless, we have already applied for an additional grant of the Rs 3 crore to be released by the state government. If it arrives by March 31, then we will be in a position to pay the arrears. Under the present circumstances, we are even lagging behind in paying people who subscribe to certain schemes,” he added.
The non-payment of these arrears is causing a lot of problems. Sources claimed that several elderly women, who are supposed to receive the arrears on behalf of their deceased husbands, are suffering because of this.
Source : Times of India