Officials yet to get dues for 2017 state elections - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Officials yet to get dues for 2017 state elections

Officials yet to get dues for 2017 state elections

Archit Watts

Tribune News Service

Muktsar, September 15

The state government has not yet given the honorarium to returning officers (ROs), assistant returning officers (AROs), election wing officials and banking staff engaged to conduct the Assembly polls in 2017 and Lok Sabha elections in May this year.

Notably, these officials had earlier got their one-month basic salary for doing the same task in the state polls held in 2012. However, in 2014, during the Lok Sabha polls, the state government had paid them a little less than a month’s basic salary.

An election tehsildar told The Tribune, “Actually, the state and Centre contribute 50 per cent each in the honorarium, which is one month’s basic salary of the employee. However, it seems the financial crunch is proving to be a problem for the present state government. In 2014 too, the state had paid less than 50 per cent of its share.” He said polling and counting staff were, however, paid for their election duty.

Notably, the District Election Officer (DEO) of Mansa had last month written a letter to the Chief Electoral officer, Punjab, in this regard. In reply (which is in possession of The Tribune), a senior official in the CEO’s office stated that the policy in this regard had been sent to the Finance Department for approval.

A PCS officer, who worked as an ARO during the state polls 2017, said, “We are awaiting the honorarium of the last two elections. However, as of now, there is no clarity on when will we get it.”

SK Raju, CEO, Punjab, said, “We are awaiting financial approval to give honorarium to all officials.”

Highlighting another issue, an SDM said people who had provided them vehicles and other stuff during the elections were regularly making rounds of their offices to get the payment but the bills were not being cleared due to several objections. “During the elections, we were told at the eleventh hour to do the necessary tasks and now the objections are being raised to clear the bills pending for the last over three months,” he said. Notably, in this regard, when the CEO was contacted earlier, he had said that anyone facing difficulty could approach him.

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