Cash crunch hits retirees in Punjab
Rs 928-crore bills, relating to gratuities and other benefits, of retirees pending with the finance departmentpunjab Updated: Dec 07, 2017 08:44 IST
Retired employees of the Punjab government are awaiting payment of their bills worth around Rs 928 crore, currently pending with the state’s finance department.
While the empty coffers of the state government are to be blamed for this scenario, retirees are running from pillar to post to receive their hard-earned savings.
On an average, each employee or civil servant gets Rs 35 lakh as gratuity and other benefits upon retirement.
Sources in the finance department said around 12,000 bills of hundreds of retired employees across the state are pending with the respective treasuries of various districts.
The bills include payment of gratuity, leave encashment, General Provident Fund (GPF) as well as the amount related to Group Insurance Scheme (GIS).
These retirees, encompassing all ranks from Class 1 to class 4, mostly include those who retired this year, with their bills pending for the past over four months. They do not include those who have retired from various corporations, commissions and boards of the state government.
Sources in the state finance department revealed that while gratuity bills of retirees amounting to Rs 283 crore are pending across the state, another Rs 185-crore bills pertaining to leave encashment are yet to be paid.
Besides, they said, bills worth Rs 458 crore towards payment of GPF of the retirees is pending. Also, funds amounting to Rs 2 crore pertaining to Group Insurance Scheme are yet to be released.
Sources said that while cash crunch has always been there in the state, recent policies of the government such as reduction in stamp duty on registration of property have adversely impacted the collection of revenue in the state.
Moreover, glitches in GST collection have also resulted in the revenue shortfall of billions of rupees in the state, they said.
In Ludhiana alone, bills amounting to Rs 36 crore of over 250 retired employees are pending with the treasury office.
The employees, who have retired after spending years working at the office of the deputy commissioner, the police department, excise and taxation, industries, irrigation, water supply and various other departments, can be seen daily making queries related to payment of their bills at the district treasury office.
A senior official of the finance department, who sought anonymity, admitted there is a huge pendency of retirees’ bills and the department is working to expedite the payments.
■ Total pending bills: Rs 928 crore
■ Gratuity bills: Rs 283 crore
■ Leave encashment: Rs 185 crore
■ GPF: Rs 458 crore
■ Group Insurance Scheme: Rs 2 crore