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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

No more extension in service to CITCO employees

Vinod Kumar , Hindustan Times   Chandigarh, August 21, 2013
First Published: 09:52 IST(21/8/2013) | Last Updated: 09:53 IST(21/8/2013)

After committing a major faux pas of granting extension to its retiring employees by hiding facts from the board of directors (BoD), the management of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has now mended its wrong by deciding not to accord extension to any of its employee.

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The CITCO management allegedly misrepresented facts before the board of directors (BOD) for granting extension in service to its employees beyond 58 years earlier this year.

The management had placed a supplementary agenda (item number 174.5) before the board on January 29, 2013, for extension in service beyond superannuation to the employees falling in groups A, B, C and D on the pattern of Punjab government.

However, for the reasons best known to it, the management did not disclose the fact that the BoD had already rejected the proposal to follow service conditions applicable to the employees of Punjab government adopted by UT administration in its meeting held on December 18, 1992, in which the board had only allowed the management to follow the structure of pay and allowances, including pay scales, leave rules, medical attendance rules, leave travel concession and purchase of conveyances, as admissible to the employees of UT administration and not other service conditions.

However, by misrepresenting the facts in the context, the management managed to get board’s approval for giving extension in service to its retiring employees.

The alleged foul play of the management came to light when the chief general manager (CGM) on June 28, 2013, submitted an affidavit in the labour court in case in which the class-4 employees had demanded for enhancement of retirement age to 60 years. In the affidavit, CGM admitted that the Punjab service rules are not applicable on CITCO as it was rejected by the board in 1992.
Interestingly, in its own service rules finalised in 2011, CITCO had fixed 58 years as the age for superannuation.

Though in the board meeting held on Tuesday decision was taken against according any extension, surprisingly, the management made no effort to hold the officials responsible for keeping the board in dark.

CITCO managing director Tanvi Garg said it was a mistake and was unintentional. “The present officials were not aware of the decision taken in 1992 as a result of that all facts could not be placed before the board earlier this year,” Garg said.
However, she said they have acted now when the matter came to their notice.
 
Bad move?
The decision of CITCO to grant extension has been seen as a bad move considering the depleting financial health of the corporation.

With no financial assistance from the UT administration, CITCO has to generate funds to meet all its expenditures, including salary of the staff members.

So far, a total of 12 employees have been given extension in service, while 27 more employees are about to retire later this year. CITCO so far has paid more than Rs. 30 lakh as remuneration to the employees, who have been granted extension.

According to sources, the wrong done by a few officials will cost the corporation dear, which, at present, is struggling to pay monthly salaries to its staff members.

“The incident calls for a high-level probe and those involved should be punished,” said a board member.

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