Pay Us Salaries on Time, Demand State Power'Less Employees
DECCAN CHRONICLE | L. Venkat Ram Reddy
Hyderabad: As the ruling BRS and the principal opposition contender Congress leaders and cadre fought pitched battle on round-the-clock free power, employees in the public power department and sector in Telangana state are fighting a different battle — a fight for their salaries, which have not yet come into their accounts.
Power employees working in power utilities expressed severe anger against Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao-led BRS government over salaries getting delayed month after month. Incidentally, even other state government employees working in different departments are yet to receive salaries, and delayed salaries have become a regular feature.
All state government employees, who in earlier dispensations used to get salaries on the first of every month in the Undivided Andhra Pradesh, are now forced to wait at least till the third week of each month to get paid as the Telangana state government is delaying payments, citing funds crunch.
Employees say this is forcing them to be declared defaulters, as they are under compulsion to default on payment of EMIs for home, vehicle loans, etc., for no fault of theirs. Their credit ratings too are getting hit and would impale their future lending capacity from banks for various needs.
After waiting for 10 days for salaries this month, the TS power employees joint action committee (JAC) met Transco, Genco CMD D. Prabhakar Rao on Tuesday and expressed their concern over the delay in payment of salaries for the past one year.
They told Prabhakar Rao that most employees have applied for and taken home, car, education, personal loans and they were forced to default on EMI payments to banks due to delay in salaries. Their CIBIL score was getting affected, banks were lying penalties for default and they were also not getting fresh loans, they said.
Prabhakar Rao apparently tried to assure them that their salaries will be credited in their accounts on Wednesday. But inquiries revealed that employees did not receive any SMS alerts from banks on their mobiles until late Wednesday evening.
Employees said that they got information from higher ups that salaries could be credited on Thursday. They requested CMD to take steps to ensure that they receive salaries on the first of every month henceforth.
Meanwhile, state government employees working in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts received salaries so far while employees in other districts were kept waiting.
Employees said that salaries are being disbursed in phases for other districts in alphabetical order and by the time all the districts are covered, it would be the third week of the month.
Employees are also angry at their union leaders for not questioning the government strongly on salary delays. They recollect the days in Undivided AP, when they used to sit on dharnas and stage protests whenever they faced any problems from the government side but in Telangana there is no such situation.
They say that union leaders don’t question the K. Chandrashekar Rao government on any issue and they will not encourage or allow the employees to lodge any protest, claiming that "any confrontation" with the government "will not be good" for employees and it would be better to achieve our demands through soft 'lobbying'.
"Is this the reason we fought for Telangana," an employee asked. "Not only do we not get paid on time, but we have to fear even asking for our rights?"