In a move that’s likely to earn it applause from the aam aadmi and brickbats from its own employees, the BJP-led government is planning to reduce the salary of suspended officers by half.
Cracking the whip: Sudhir Mungantiwar
Claiming that the state spends R60,000 crore on salaries of state government employees and just Rs 40,000 crore on development work, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said he is very serious about reducing the salary of suspended employees from the 50% they get currently to 25%. He said the government was mulling doing this to ensure that the common man does not have to suffer just because the employees are corrupt or inept — one of which is usually the reason behind their suspension.
Speaking to mid-day, Mungantiwar said, “I am very serious about this. We give Rs 60,000 crore in salaries and spend Rs 40,000 crore on development. There’s an expectation from the public that we will work with full responsibility as we are the trustees of public money. Every paisa should be spent with full accountability.”
While they said they did not have the figure of suspended employees handy, finance department sources claimed that a big chunk of the state’s salary spend is on such employees, who include everyone from top bureaucrats to peons and police officials.
“In spite of him (a suspended officer) being corrupt and having amassed money through illegal means, why should we give him 50% salary? There are cases when there is no decision from the court for 15 years at a stretch and we keep paying employees salary for doing nothing during this period,” said Mungantiwar.
According to finance ministry officials, employees who are suspended are usually either involved in corrupt practices or don’t do their duties properly. “Why should the government keep paying such officials with public money? Why should the people suffer just because a government official is corrupt or inept?” said a senior officer.
Caveat for innocent
When the officer was asked what would happen to employees who are suspected of corruption but are eventually found innocent, he said the rest of the salary would be given back to them with retrospective effect.
“So, this move will actually act as a deterrent for many officers, who will have to think twice before indulging in corruption or slacking off at work, as 25% of their salary would be too less for them to survive in this competitive and expensive world,” said the officer.