The junior-most and entry level state government employees seem to be the worst affected due to non-payment of dearness allowance (DA) arrears.
Kolkata, March 11,2023: The junior-most and entry level state government employees seem to be the worst affected due to non-payment of dearness allowance (DA) arrears.
Currently, the gap of the state government employees with their counterparts in the Union government stands at 32 per cent and this is after West Bengal minister of state for finance (independent charge) Chandrima Bhattacharya announced an additional three per cent DA for the state government in February.
Based on that gap, the joint forum of state government employees — the main forum leading the movement in demand of DA arrear payments — has put forward some initial calculations, which show that the junior-most and entry level state government employees are major sufferers on this count.
As per the calculation, the staff with basic entry level pay of Rs 18,000 a month and grade pay of Rs 19,000 per month, were supposed to receive Rs 6,840 per month as DA as per the central DA grade.
“However, in West Bengal they are receiving just Rs 1,080 a month. This means in a month they are being deprived of a payment of Rs 5,760. If it comes to a year, the amount comes to Rs 69,120,” pointed out a forum official.
As per the same calculation, junior staff in the basic entry level pay of Rs 1,970 per month and the grade pay of Rs 2,100 per month, are receiving lesser DA to the tune of Rs 6,308 per month compared to his or her counterpart in the Union government. “Annually the figure comes to Rs 75,696,” the forum official said.
He also pointed out that as one state government employee progresses in his career and reaches higher grade pay, his or gap in dearness allowance payment compared to the central government employees goes up.
Take for example a headmaster in a state-run higher secondary school in the state. “A headmaster in his early fifties, having a grade pay of Rs 5,400 per month, is getting a lesser pay of around Rs 32,000 per month because of this differential pay with the central government employees. Annually, the figure comes to Rs 3,84,000. And as I will progress in my grade pay further during the remaining years of my service the payment gap will widen further if the current rate of DA paid by the state government remains the same,” pointed out a headmaster of a state- run higher secondary school based out of South 24 Parganas district.
The joint forum has already observed a day’s strike on Friday which was preceded by a two-day pen-down strike in February.