Panchayat secys an unhappy lot

Published on Jan 23, 2006 03:42 PM IST

THE VILLAGE panchayat secretaries are an unhappy lot. They have not received their salary for the past four months, making it difficult for them to make ends meet. The inadequate monsoon rains have made it worse, as the income from farms, their families own too has dwindled. They are entitled to a monthly allowance of Rs 1,250.

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None | By, Indore

THE VILLAGE panchayat secretaries are an unhappy lot. They have not received their salary for the past four months, making it difficult for them to make ends meet. The inadequate monsoon rains have made it worse, as the income from farms, their families own too has dwindled. They are entitled to a monthly allowance of Rs 1,250.

“It has been difficult to run the family in the absence of regular wages. There has been no income from the farms for past two years due to poor monsoon. Besides, there is no so side business in village to supplement the income,” Gawalu (Mhow) village panchayat secretary Satish Budhe and Khatipipaliya (Indore) village panchayat secretary Gokuldas Vaishnav told Hindustan Times.

The Government has withheld the payment after they went on State-level strike for two months to demand hike in wages among other facilities even though they have resumed work. “The decision to disburse wages is pending at the State level,” Deputy Divisional Commissioner R K Khare informed and added that a decision to increase their wages might be taken soon.

At a meeting district panchayat chief executive officers held with Rural Development Department Principal Secretary Pradip Bhargav at Bhopal recently, a decision has been taken to increase their salary to Rs 2,000 after training them to work on the computer to feed entries related to National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

There are plans to extend computer connectivity to village panchayat level so that development projects launched under the Scheme by each village panchayat can be sent to New Delhi directly.

“We hope the Scheme brings job security for us too,” Khemlavada (Depalpur) village panchayat secretary Vishnu Choudhary said. Khurda (Mhow) village panchayat secretary Dilip Rawat complained that panchayat workers are suspended without being given an opportunity to justify their stand.

However, Khare denies that injustice is meted out to them. He said that panchayat workers have a right to appeal before the Sub Divisional Officer if they have any complaint against village panchayat. The right to appoint and terminate their service vests with panchayats.

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