Pay Protection Scheme, announced by the State Administrative Service (SAS) Association at its general meeting on Sunday, has invited criticism with senior IAS officials calling it an 'ill-conceived scheme'.
Deepak Saxena, the general secretary of SAS Association, said name of the scheme is 'Family Welfare Scheme', and not pay protection scheme as termed by some newspapers (not HT).
Saxena said any SAS official could become a member of this scheme.
"One has to pay one-time fee of Rs 50,000 and a monthly contribution of Rs 1,000 to avail benefit of this scheme," said Saxena. Any SAS official, who is member of the scheme and is suspended or dismissed during service for any reasons, would get full salary from the association.
When asked if this scheme would promote corruption among officials, Saxena said they would be helping the family members and not the official. "Why should his children be taken out from a good school and sent to a government school for no fault of his?" he argued.
"An official is suspended only when he is found guilty prima facie. Why should he avail any sort of benefits?" said KS Sharma, retired Madhya Pradesh chief secretary.
He said the scheme is "ill-conceived and does not come in a good taste". Funds of the SAS association should not be spent to protect people guilty of crime. The benefits of scheme should rather be given to the family members in case of accident or other like misfortune of the official.
Another senior official posted at the secretariat, too, opposed the scheme saying this would set a bad precedent for other associations that may replicate the scheme and protect corruption employees. "Such schemes would remove fear of government's punitive action like suspension," said the senior official, wishing anonymity.
Financial punishment keeps people in check as its impact involves their family members too. The government has several welfare schemes for its servants. Pay Protection Scheme sounds like an insurance cover for corrupt officials and such scheme should be opposed, said the official.