The finance minister stated this in response to a query during question hour in AP Legislative Council on pending bills of employees. (Buggana Rajendranath: DC)
Vijayawada: Finance minister Buggana Rajendranath on Saturday ruled out immediate payment of wages and pension arrears to employees and pensioners, except for a few hundred crores, as the state government is according top priority to payment of welfare pensions. He attributed the same grounds for delay in payment of monthly salaries to government employees.
The finance minister stated this in response to a query during question hour in AP Legislative Council on pending bills of employees.
He listed out benefits to employees, where arrears are zero. These include regular salaries and allowances, arrears of salary and allowances, medical reimbursement, employee health scheme, APGLI loans, computer advance, house building advance, car and motorcycle advance, education advance, festival advance, travelling allowance and leave travel concession.
Rajendranath conceded there are arrears with regard to general provident fund, dearness allowance and surrender leave, amounting to 2,695 crore.
Likewise, he said, for pensioners too, there are zero arrears in terms of regular pension, pension arrears, APGLI final payment, GIS, medical reimbursement, encashment of earned leave, gratuity and commutation of pension. But dearness allowance arrears are pending to the tune of 1,118 crore.
The finance minis
ter summed up pending arrears for both employees and pensioners as 3,813 crore.
"We will clear all arrears soon, as the state government is committed to welfare of all stakeholders. Any late payment of wages to employees in a month is not intentional, but adjustment of available funds as per priority," he maintained.
Rajendranath listed out how state government is providing benefits to employees by announcing interim relief of 27 percent, implementation of 11th PRC, setting up of village / ward secretariats by appointing over one lakh employees, merger of APSRTC into state government, hike in wages of health workers, and fixation of minimum time scale to contract employees, among several other benefits.
MLCs, including Illa Venkateswara Rao, V. Balasubramanyam and Lakshmana Rao, disputed the finance minister’s version on arrears to employees and pensioners and sought more clarity on the issue.
On this, education minister Botsa Satyanarayana advised members to seek the reply in a different format for getting a reply from the finance minister.