The employees of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) have been deprived of arrears of dearness allowance (DA) and grade pay, which have been pending for long, due to paucity of funds.
There are around 2,000 employees working in 21 units in the industrial and tourism arms of the corporation.
The liabilities of the corporation in the form of arrears of DA and grade pay amounts to around Rs 1.5 crore. Besides, CITCO has committed liabilities of around `5 crore towards refund of tax deduced at sources (TDS), contribution of gratuity and proposed contribution to leave encashment, which are to be met before the end of financial year.
Recently, the UT administration had enhanced DA rate for its employees working in different departments from 80% to 90% with effect from July 1, 2013. While the said DA rate of 90% was applied to the salary of CITCO employees, Rs 50-lakh arrears for the same period has not been released on account of tight financial position of the corporation.
Over the years, there has been a steep decline in revenue of the corporation. The report for the first seven months of the present financial year, which is to be tabled before the board of directors on Monday, shows a "cash loss" of Rs 63 lakh. The turnover recorded during this period is 87% less than figures achieved in the corresponding period last year. At present, the salary bill of the corporation is more than Rs 3 crore a month. Senior officials of CITCO said it would be difficult for CITCO to meet its liabilities without encashing its fixed investments under the current financial position.
Question mark on extension of retirement age
With no financial assistance from Chandigarh administration, CITCO has to generate funds to meet all its expenditures, including salary of staff members. The decision of the management to accord extension in the retirement age has raised eyebrows.
CITCO chairman Anil Kumar had during the corporation's meeting on August 20 had raised apprehensions on the issue of extension, saying: "CITCO is not against granting extension to its employees. Yet, on account of financial constraints and CITCO being a commercial organisation, a rational decision in the interest of the corporation is required to be taken."
For reducing expenses, the CITCO management has decided to take some stern steps. The management had decided to withdraw facility of reimbursement of landline bills to eligible officers with effect from December 1. The other measures include: fixing limit of 30 litres of fuel on all official vehicles, cutting down the facility of fixed travelling allowances by 50%, close monitoring of food cost in hotels, staff taken from service provider at hotels to be curbed by at least 30%, and renovation projects involving capital outlay to be chosen with great care.