9 Maharashtra FDA employees, who protested transfers, yet to get pending salaries
The Maharashtra FDA officials, who haven’t got their pending salaries for six months in 2017, were allegedly sent on forced leave in 2017 amid acute manpower shortage, for allegedly protesting their transfers.Updated: Mar 13, 2019 10:50 IST
Nine assistant commissioners from Food and Drugs Administration (Maharashtra) are struggling to get their pending salaries — June 2017 to November 2017 — from the state. The officials were allegedly sent on forced leave in 2017, amid acute manpower shortage, for allegedly protesting their transfers.
Sources from FDA said the nine officials from Mumbai and Thane were transferred to other regions of Maharashtra in June 2018. However, they refused to take charge of their new postings and termed the transfers arbitrary.
“As per norms, transfers happen every three years so that an assistant commissioner gets enough time to understand jurisdiction allotted and perform his duties. But none of the nine officials had completed their tenure. After being ignored by the department [FDA], they approached Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT),” sources said.
However, FDA barred the nine officials from resuming duty in their original jurisdictions despite MAT staying their transfers.
Abhay Pandey, an activist pursuing the issue, said despite manpower crunch in FDA, the officials were made to sit at home for six months. This affected the functioning of drug inspection and licensing by the FDA.
“After six months, MAT lifted the stay and ordered the officials to take charge of their new jurisdictions. The officials complied and resumed work immediately. It’s been almost two years and they are yet to receive salaries for the period they were made to sit at home, which was illegal,” said Pandey.
FDA commissioner Pallavi Darade said the nine assistant commissioners were transferred to various locations across Maharashtra by the state.
“The pay was withheld as they resumed duties only after losing the case in MAT. However, the state is considering to disburse their pending salaries and a decision will be taken soon,” she added.
As assistant commissioner of drugs department acts as a licensing authority to grant drugs sale licences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945. The official is responsible to supervise drug inspectors to carry out raids, inspections, collect samples of drugs and effect prosecutions under and Cosmetics Act, 1940. The absence affects surveillance and prosecutions against illegal drug sale.
First Published: Mar 13, 2019 10:49 IST