Chennai: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday announced a slew of concessions, including hike in assistance under Family Welfare Fund, for state government employees amid protests by some sections among them.
Other concessions announced included increase in pension for nutritious meal workers, relaxation in norms for promotions and a rise in honorarium for guest lecturers.
In a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Jayalalithaa said the assistance under the Family Welfare Fund for the kin of government employees, if they die in harness, would be increased to Rs three lakh from the present Rs 1.5 lakh accepting the request of several employees associations.
According to the plan, the employees' contribution would be Rs 60 from the previous Rs 30, she said. As of now, the government subsidy for the scheme is Rs 6.18 crore, and the increase in assistance would entail an additional expenditure of Rs six crore and it will be borne by the state government.
Amid stir by sections of government employees pressing for several demands since February 10, she said government employees "are the face, foundation, and backbone of the government" who take government welfare schemes to the people.
She said government employees had given several demands and representations over which senior ministers and officials held talks with them. "My government has decided to give them various concessions," she said.
On the demand of several government employees unions for scrapping the Contributory Pension Scheme and reverting to the Old Pension Scheme, she said, "The demand should be thoroughly scrutinised. Hence, an expert committee will be set up to go into the demand and make recommendations to government. An appropriate decision will be taken based on the report of the panel."
For those who joined government service on or after April 1, 2003, the Contributory Pension Scheme is applicable under which employees and the state both contribute for the Pension Plan.
Under Group Insurance Scheme for employees including those in local-bodies, government aided educational institutions, and nutritious meal programme, the sum insured would be increased to Rs. 3 lakh from the present Rs 1.5 lakh. It would mean an additional expenditure of Rs 20 crore for the government over and above the Rs 22 crore per annum being spent now, she said.