Over one lakh government employees, who had discharged duties in the just-concluded urban local bodies elections, feel cheated as the much-publicised promise of giving them one-month additional salary as “election duty incentive” is unlikely to be fulfilled.
Instead of releasing the additional salary, an amount of Rs 1,200 has been sanctioned in favour of some employees who were engaged in the civic elections in Kathua district as an “election duty incentive”.
Sources said the authorities had sanctioned Rs 1,200 in favour of presiding officers and Rs 750 for polling officers. “The returning officers, who worked in the far-flung areas, will get only Rs 12,000, including the expenses on the stationery and other material used in the process,” a source said.
“Not even a single employee engaged in the civic elections has so far received the promised one-month additional salary. This is a glaring example of cheating,” trade union leader Darshan Magotra told Kashmir Post, adding, “employees are approaching us to get the incentive but the higher-ups in the government have maintained a silence on the issue”.
With the beginning of the urban local bodies election process, the state government had at a press conference on September 25 announced incentives for its employees deployed for election duties. The government had announced a month’s salary for the staff deputed on poll duty.
In the four-phase elections, over one lakh government employees were engaged all over the state to conduct polling for 1,145 wards of 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh. The election process started on September 18 and concluded on October 20 with completion of counting of all municipalities.
Keeping in view the boycott call of political parties and threats issued by militant groups, the authorities had announced the sops for employees.
Meanwhile the employees engaged for urban local bodies elections have not yet received “incentive” promised to them, the government has already deputed over 1.5 lakh employees for conducting panchayat elections beginning on Saturday. Notably, a similar incentive has been announced for the employees who will discharge their duties in the nine-phase panchayat poll.