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Sarpanches in Punjab working without salaries for 4 years

The rural development and panchayats director said the honorarium was not paid due to poor financial condition of the state under the previous government.

punjab Updated: Dec 04, 2017 21:24 IST
Sarbmeet Singh
Sarbmeet Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab panchayats,punjab sarpanches,Punjab news
Representative Image(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Sarpanches across the state have not been getting their monthly honorarium of Rs 1,200 for the past four years.

Stating this, Punjab Panchayat Union president Harmeet Singh Mavi said, “We have repeatedly submitted memorandums to several officers in this regard, but to no avail.”

“I have been waiting for my honorarium since the last panchayat elections when I was elected sarpanch in July 2013. Sarpanches work 24 hours a day and seven days a week without any holiday. The government should at least pay our honorarium,” said Sarpanch Ekta Manch president Pargat Singh Dhaliwal, who is sarpanch of Balamgarh village of Muktsar.

“During the SAD-BJP government, we had submitted a memorandum to the district deputy commissioner seeking release of our honorarium but nothing happened,” he added.

Gurtej Singh, sarpanch of Baam village of Muktsar, said he is forced to do a private job to make both ends meet.

“As a sarpanch, we have spend a lot as several villagers and government officials visit us and we have to provide them tea and snacks. Since we are not given any allowance for such expenses, we should be paid enough salary. However, we are not getting even our paltry salary.”

Sukhjinder Kaur, sarpanch of Chak Gadha Singh Wala village in the district, said, “Sarpanches from Dalit community find it more difficult as they don’t have big chunks of agricultural land or other sources of income. Woman sarpanches face even more difficulties.”

Social activist Parvinder Singh Kitna said, “During the previous government, I had sent a legal notice to the officials concerned for not paying honorarium to sarpanches , but nothing happened.”

Talking to HT, rural development and panchayats director Sibin C said, “Honorarium was not paid due to poor financial condition of the state under the previous government. A sum of Rs 18 crore has now been sectioned and sarpanches will be paid soon.”

Faridkot block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) Baljeet Kaur said, “We have sent bills worth Rs 25 lakh to the higher officials. Honorarium will be paid as soon as we receive payment.”

Malout BDPO Surjeet Kaur said, “We have sent account details of sarpanches . Honorarium will be directly transferred to their accounts.”

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 21:22 IST