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Favouritism? Three-fold hike for four Red Cross employees in Moga

Employees made eligible for benefits under the Punjab govt’s fifth pay commission in violation of rules

punjab Updated: Jul 29, 2017 08:56 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Moga
Red Cross,salary,funds
Former Moga deputy commissioner Kuldeep Singh Vaid. (HT Photo)

In an alleged act of favouritism, the then Moga deputy commissioner Kuldeep Singh Vaid handpicked four employees of the District Red Cross Society and increased their salaries three times in November 2016.

The salary of the four — steno Sukhwant Kaur Steno, driver Harjeet Singh, clerk Parminder Singh and attendant Pawan Kumar — was hiked 3 times to around Rs 50,000 a month each after making them eligible for benefits under the Punjab Fifth Pay Commission report.

The district Red Cross Society has 11 employees.

Leaving aside these four, the other seven are making between Rs 17,000 and Rs 20,000 a month.

Vaid, the DC who increased the salaries, is now the Congress MLA from Gill constituency.

The deputy commissioner is the ex-officio president of the Red Cross Society that is an independent, self-driven and donation-based global organisation present in almost all districts in the country. The DC also appoints employees on contract to run the society.

Already short of funds

Records show that the Moga Red Cross Society has an income of Rs 1.53 lakh against the expenditure of Rs 3.3 lakh per month (includes hiked salaries).

Sources said the process to favour the four employees started with Vaid signing a document called a Paper-under Consideration (PUC) to make these employees eligible for the Fifth pay commission with a condition that they will not claim their arrears from the Red Cross in the future.

The significant fact that the 5th Pay Commission recommendations did not even apply to employees of the Red Cross Society was ignored.

For formality sake, the PUC stated that, “These employees have submitted a self-declaration that they won’t claim their arrears from the government nor they will appeal in high court or in any other court for recovery,” the PUC stated.

DC Vaid, the then assistant commissioner (general and grievances) Palika Arora and other officials.

On December 28, 2016, the new DC Parminder Singh Gill accepted the PUC and since then the Red Cross has been paying the increased (three-fold) salary to the four.

“This hike in salaries is illegal and sets a bad precedent. Red Cross employees in other districts could cite this and file a writ petition in the high court to demand salary hike,” said a senior official with the district administration.

Driver Harjeet got the hike in salary even as he was on extension, also an illegality. An employee on extension is not eligible to get any salary hike or promotion during the extension period.

Moga DC Dilraj Singh said he will look into the matter.

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 08:55 IST