5,000 Telangana's temple priests still await pay scale revision

734 employees got hikes for the first time in December.

Hyderabad: The wait for government scale salaries continues for some 5,000 archakas (priests) and temple administration staff in Telangana awarded on the basis of the 2015 Pay Revision Commission.

Out of the 5,625 employees found eligible for a pay hike, 734 employees got hikes for the first time in December. Some senior priests who were working for 25-odd years got a salary of Rs 73,000 while the ones with lesser experience had to be content with Rs 25,000.

The benefit to others was put on hold due to various reasons. Authorities found discrepancies in some appointments made in the past, while the list also contained names of 3,198 employees working on contract or consolidated pay basis.

K. Krishnamachary, president of the Telangana Aalaya Archaka for Greater Hyderabad and Udyogula JAC said that they were still in the dark about how many would get enhanced salaries apart from the 734 who got it.

“The list was made by senior officials of the endowments department after which the GO-577 to give government pay scale to over 5,600 priests and temple staff was released. Now another team of officials are finding fault with the list made by their colleagues. We have concerns over these developments,” he said.

The JAC of priests and temple staff from 646 temples under endowments department wrote to the Chief Minister 10 days ago requesting his intervention in the issue.

An official from the department said that they had written to the government on the issue and sought clarity on how many priests would get PRC scales. “If we remove the 3,000 contract employees’ issue that has to be dealt separately, the rest of the 2,000 employees on department rolls would be brought under the new pay scales after getting directions,” the official said.

Endowment department sources said that a Telangana Dharmika Parishad had to be established to regularise all the contract staff so that they too can be extended pay scales benefits depending on their seniority.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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