Punjab Assembly Passes Bill To Regularise Services Of 30,000 Employees

Chandigarh: The Punjab Assembly today passed nine Bills, including a Bill to regularise the services of 30,000 contract, adhoc and daily wage employees from various government departments, in a special session convened ahead of the 2017 state elections.

The passing of the Punjab Adhoc, Contractual, Daily wage, Temporary, Work Charged and Outsourced Employees’ Welfare Bill, 2016, will put an additional financial burden of Rs 2,438 crore on the state exchequer.

With code of conduct expected to be imposed soon after the Election Commission announces the schedule for the state election, the special session of the Assembly was convened to push the nine legislations.

The decision to hold the session today was taken by the state cabinet in the meeting on Friday.

The Bills were passed by the Assembly in just 40 minutes without holding any discussion as the opposition benches remained empty. All Congress MLAs had resigned in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal project.

The Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was conspicuous by his absence from the House. However, his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was present during the passing of the bills.

The Punjab Cabinet convened a one-day session of the House to carry out “important legislative business” after Governor V P Singh Badnore had reportedly conveyed to the government that he would be more comfortable in giving assent to the legislation if the Vidhan Sabha passed the ordinances in the form of a Bill.

The Punjab Adhoc, Contractual, Daily wage, Temporary, Work Charged and Outsourced Employees’ Welfare Bill, 2016 Bill was moved by Punjab Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Mohan Mittal in the House and was unanimously passed by SAD-BJP MLAs present in the Assembly.

Mittal, who described the Bill as a “historic move”, criticised the members of the Congress party for not attending the session, saying they made it clear that they were “anti-employee”.

“It is sad that the opposition MLAs stayed away from the House,” Mittal said and accused Congress-led government during 2002-2007 of “not recruiting a single person during its tenure.” The financial memorandum of the Bill says the annual

financial implication would be about Rs 583 crore and the total liability for the first three years would be around Rs 1,749 crore on account of regularising the services.

After three years, these employees would be given the regular pay scale, and the annual liability in the first year would be Rs 2,438 crore.

Taking an annual growth in the salary expenditure of 10 per cent, the annual financial implications at the end of five years would be Rs 3,600 crore, it said.

Notably, the SAD-BJP government in Punjab had given its nod to regularise the services of over 30,000 employees working on contract, adhoc, daily-wages, temporary and work-charged basis in various government departments, boards, corporations and societies in the state, in October.

Other bills which were passed during the special session included Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the C T University Bill, 2016, Punjab Regulation of Fee of Unaided Educational Institutions Bill, 2016, Punjab School Education Board (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Punjab Bhagwan Valmik Ji Tirath Sthal (Ram Tirath) Shrine Board Bill, 2016, Punjab State Commission for Women (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, Punjab Allotment of State Government Land Bill, 2016 and Punjab State Commission for Minorities (third amendment) Bill, 2016.

Earlier, the House paid tributes to 12 persons, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and former ministers Avtar Singh Brar and Devinder Singh Bajwa.