Cash-strapped Punjab govt defaults on paying salary to Ludhiana officials

Sandeep Dua / Ludhiana:

The cash-strapped SAD-BJP coalition government is delaying payment of salaries to its employees, including, the deputy commissioner, additional deputy commissioner, SDMs and other officials. They have not received their salaries for December and January, a Daily World investigation has revealed.

ÔÇ£We have not received salaries for months of December and January because of non-availability of funds in the budget. There is no provision for passing of budget and bills have not been passed because of shortage of funds,ÔÇØ added officer on condition of anonymity. He further said that top politicians and ministers were blaming the Central government but the sufferers were the civil servants.

The state government on its part attributed the stateÔÇÖs ÔÇ£weakÔÇØ fiscal position due to low revenue growth due to slowdown in economy.

The state government employees claimed their salaries had been delayed beyond two month. ÔÇ£It is not only salary and wages. Punjab government has also not been paying Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds to the state,ÔÇØ said another official. Several government departments, including police, district administration and even Punjab Excise and Taxation Department even owe money to fuel pump owners.

Former deputy commissioner and now Excise and Taxation Commissioner Rajat Agarwal and GA to DC, Kanu Thind didnÔÇÖt respond to calls, smses and other messages regarding the query on delay in salaries.

Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, Ravi Bhagat said, ÔÇ£I have received my salary as Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, and have no idea that whether the officials working with Ludhiana administration have received their salaries or not.ÔÇØ He said he would check on Monday and revert to Daily World.

Khanna SDM Paramjit Singh said, ÔÇ£The salaries have been delayed due to shortage of funds.ÔÇØ He said he had received his salary for December and January.

However, he added the Group C and D officialsÔÇÖ salaries were released in clusters and due to shortage of funds there was delay in its disbursement.

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