Arrears of Punjab Roadways employees worth lakhs of rupees are pending for over a year with the state treasury department. Every time bills are forwarded for clearance, the treasury department rejects these on the pretext of certain objections, say roadways employees, adding they have been asked to grease the palms of the senior officials in order to get their bills cleared soon.
One of the Punjab Roadways employees, requesting anonymity, said 80 pending bills till March 31 were forwarded to the treasury which the latter returned citing objections. Only 10 bills were cleared by the department.
In order to evade the responsibility, the officials at the treasury department are not even issuing tokens while citing different objections stalling the payments worth lakhs of rupees.
He further added that the revised bills adhering to all the mandatory formalities were again forwarded to the treasury department on April 17 but to no avail.
Punjab Roadways employees also accuse treasury department of adhering a pick and choose stance by clearing some of the bills while leaving other cases arbitrarily.
Another employee said that he has been asked to pay a certain percentage of his arrears in order to consider his case for the clearance.
It is pertinent to mention that arrears varying from Rs 10,000 to over Rs 1 lakh are pending with the department for a year now and treasury department has always rejected their claims citing various objections.
District treasury officer Rashpal Singh said, "The arrear bills of roadways employees have exceeded the time limit so these cannot be cleared now. They have not applied for the arrears on time."
On being asked about the allegation by roadways employees of charging extra for the bill clearance, Singh said, "We are not charging extra money for bill clearance. If there is such a case, employees can bring it to my notice so that necessary action is taken."