Thiruvananthapuram: Over 1,000 employees arrived late while some 3,000 were on time on the very first day of the compulsory biometric punching of attendance at the secretariat on Monday.
The staff organisations claimed that of the 4,497 employees, 3,050 employees punched in at the right time. 946 arrived late and 501 had not marked their attendance or were on leave.
The employees are required to show the biometric card and then placing index finger on the machine. Once a staff member uses the punching machine the attendance details goes automatically to Spark salary software.
Under the new system, each employee will be entitled to three-hour relaxation every month. After the limit gets over if an employee reaches late or leaves early for three days, he would lose a day’s salary along with leave.
In the first phase along with punching, the staff has to sign the register. Ministers and chief secretary have been exempted from punching while the decision on the personal staff of ministers is yet to be taken.
Reacting to the punching system, J. Bency, president of pro-Congress Secretariat Association, said the government was trying to hoodwink the people. The decision to link punching system with Spark salary was unwarranted. The government should pay attention to increasing the output of employees.
“Coming to office in time does not ensure an increase in work output. Timely attendance is not enough to provide services to people. The decision to link biometric punching with salary will bring applause from the general public, but it will not serve any purpose in improving the output,” he added.
The employee leader said the biggest delay in file movement was in offices of ministers. Interestingly the staff members of ministers have been exempted from the punching system. “Don’t they draw their salary from the treasury? Don't they have any commitment towards the people?” he asked.
He said the high officials should delegate powers to subordinate officers for fast decision making.
Pro-CPM Kerala Secretariat Employees Association general secretary M. S. Bijukuttan said the punching system was aimed at improving attendance.
He said while implementing the system the practical problems of the employees should also be taken into consideration.
"Many employees come from neighbouring districts by train. Many trains often get delayed, and the public conveyance is also a problem. Such employees should be given some relaxation or additional time," he said.
“We welcome the intention behind the new system as it is meant for improving the public delivery system,” he said and expressed reservations over the decision to cut salary....