SAD says all benefits to Ministers, Advisors and Chairpersons should be stopped till such time salaries were paid regularly to State employees
Chandigarh, December 9 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded that all benefits to Ministers, Advisors and Chairpersons should be stopped till such time regular salary could be dispatched to State employees.
In a statement here, former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said it was shocking that the Congress government was defaulting on payment of salaries to government employees but had crores to splurge on chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s foreign jaunts as well as on appointment of Advisors to accommodate Congressmen at the expense of the State exchequer.
Mr Dhindsa said it was condemnable that a government which was collecting the highest taxes in the country was unable to pay the November salaries of more than 70,000 employees of six State departments including the Irrigation, Industry, Technical Education, Rural Development, Agriculture and Planning. He said despite this state of affairs the government had released the salaries of Ministers and the plethora of Advisors with alacrity. “This shows that the Congress party is only interested in looting the State exchequer by doling out benefits to its own party men”, the Akali leader said adding all benefits being given to Ministers, Advisors and Chairpersons should be stopped immediately”.
Stating this crisis was self inflicted, Mr Dhindsa said the Punjab government’s performance vis a vis GST collection was the worst in the country with the State recording maximum shortfall of 44 per cent in revenue collection through GST in the first five months of 2019-20. He said similarly the government had only achieved 34 per cent of its tax targets in the first six months of this year and recorded a 14 per cent shortfall.
The Akali leader said employees were also being discriminated with the government failing to release seven installments of Dearness Allowance. He said this was the state of affairs despite the fact that more than one lakh posts were lying vacant and had not been filled by the Congress government.
Mr Dhindsa said on the one hand employees were not being given salaries and on the other hand the government was deliberately delaying release of the report of the Punjab sixth Pay Commission. He said instead of giving relief to the employees by directing the Commission to submit the report immediately, it had extended the term of the Commission.
The former finance minister also demanded regularization of services of all 27,000 contractual employees who had been identified by the previous SAD-BJP government and for whom the Punjab Adhoc, Contractual, Daily Wage, Temporary Work Charged and Outsourced Employees Welfare Bill, 2016 had also been passed after convening a special assembly session.