Nagpur: The discussion on NMC Budget presented for 2016-17 on Sunday is likely to be hot worded with Opposition set to corner the ruling BJP on various issues. The issue of salaries of around 9000 contract employees of the local body is set to dominate the debate over Budget. The newly elected Chairman of Standing Committee Sudhir (Bandu) Raut, who presented the Budget, has reportedly made no provision to pay the salaries and arrears of contract employees in accordance with the notified rules and regulations.
The break-up of contract employees working in different departments of NMC is as follows:
Kanak Resources: 1492
Security Guards: 431
Computer Operators: 130
Star Bus: 1580
The figures did not include the taxi drivers (over 100). If included the figure may cross 9500.
The concerned department of State Government had issued a notification on 24.2.2015 by which minimum wages of contract employees were fixed such as:
Skilled workers: Rs 16,660 per month
Semi-skilled workers: Rs 15, 660 per month
Unskilled workers: Rs 14,160 per month
The NMC, at present, paying Rs 4600+2660 to skilled sanitation workers. In the meanwhile, the Municipal Commissioner deputed Additional Municipal Commissioner to meet Labour Commissioner to get clear-cut idea on salaries of contract employees. After the meeting, the Additional Commissioner wrote a letter to Municipal Commissioner informing him that it is mandatory to pay salaries in accordance with the State notification of 24.2.2015 along with arrears. The arrears of 9000 contract employees will have to be paid as Rs 7000 every month. According to the figures, a provision Rs 75.6 crore for the last one year and Rs 75.6 crore for current year will have to be made in the Budget for 2016-17 which means a provision of Rs 150 crore.
If the NMC Administration failed to pay the arrears and the employees union knocks the doors of court then ten times of Rs 75.5 crore will have to be paid apart from arrears of 12.5 percent Provident Fund contribution.
The equation has put the Municipal Commissioner in a dilemma of sorts. How the provision of additional Rs 150-200 crore could be made in the Budget is the question staring at his face. This information was shared by the Congress Corporator Praful Gudadhe Patil. He said that if the provision is not made in the Budget during the discussion which is slated on Wednesday, then the employees union may approach the Labour Commissioner and seek justice.
– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA ( firstname.lastname@example.org )