State government employees unions have demanded the payment of their salaries of two months in cash, in the wake of the shortage of currency notes due to demonitisation. The employees have also demanded for the an advance payment of their salary of Rs10,000 in cash. The government has, however, expressed its inability to dispense the cash which comes to more than Rs750 crore if it decides to pay even an advance of Rs5000 each.
In a letter written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the unions have demanded the salary of November and December to be given in cash, besides the advance, in the wake of the ensuing winter session to be held in Nagpur from December 5. Hundreds of government employees attend the session from across the state. The demand for the advance pay is on the lines of the Central government decision of payment of Rs10,000 as advance of salary to its Class III and IV employees.
Maharashtra State Employees Central Federation has stated in the letter that the salaries of two months should be paid to the employees in cash. “Most of the employees will be attending the winter session of the legislature to be held in Nagpur and them and their families will face a cash crunch. The government should arrange for the advance salary,” said Subhash Gangurde, the general secretary of the Federation.
“If the government is unable to dispense full salary in cash, they should at least pay us at least Rs10000 in cash,” said GD Kulthe, chief consultant, Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers Federation. “The payment to the government employees will help in easing out the rush at banks, resulting in relief to other citizens in queue for money exchange. We do not want to be treated as priority, but this is in the interest of common people as well.”
The central government has paid advance of Rs10000 to its Class III and IV grade employees and also directed state governments to follow suite. When the finance department moved the proposal last week for the advance pay of Rs3000 to Rs5000, the government refused the proposal citing security reasons. The State government has about 12000 drawing and disbursing officers handling cash payments. The stocking of currency notes in their offices at the taluka and village levels will pose a serious problem. Besides, availing such a huge amount of cash in new currency notes immediately seems to be very difficult, an official from the finance department said.
There are 17.5 lakh government employees, including police personnel, teachers and employees in the district council schools across the state. Class III and IV employees account for more than 80% of the total strength of the employees. The monthly drawing of salary is more than Rs6000 crore.