PENSIONERS GET BONUS TEN DAYS BEFORE DURGA PUJA FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS
Pensioners get bonus 10 days before Durga Puja
KOLKATA: For the first time in 15 years, 4 lakh state government pensioners received Puja ex gratia ten days ahead of the Durga Puja. They had been receiving the bonus either right before the Puja or after it, for over a decade now. The ex gratia amount has also been increased to Rs 900 from Rs 800 last year.
A finance department official said quick disbursement of ex gratia was possible because of the electronic clearing system and decentralization of drawing and distribution officers (DDOs) at multiple locations. "We have also increased the amount to Rs 900 from Rs 800 last year. Till 2010, it was Rs 400. This is not a big amount but a token gesture. We had to spend just Rs 4 crore extra for this," the official said.
The move has made retired employees happy. Aloke Haldar, a former PWD employee who retired in 2009, said, "For the past few years, we used to get the money just a day before Puja or even after it. This year I can buy a saree for my wife with the money."
Another retired employee Mangalmoy Ghosh has already bought a kurta for himself with the money. "We welcome this initiative of the Mamata Banerjee government," Ghosh said.