For a state like ours where the fiscal achievements are not that promising, the government has to act double cautious and act strictly so that liabilities are minimized. The state which is still trying to wriggle out itself from the liabilities arising out of appointment of casual and contractual labourers needs to put various checks and balances in place.
For ensuring this the government needs to appraise all its Treasury heads not to allow or entertain payment of wages from any other Object Head except the new head like the Wages (Outsourcing), Hospital Development Funds and Local Funds exempted under SRO-520.
Though the government has announced a policy of adjusting nearly 60,000 people who have been appointed on casual basis over the years it has been observed that the payment of wages has been made by various DDOs under different object heads like Maintenance and Repairs, Suspense, Timber, Material and Supplies and other heads thereby resulting in misuse of the related Heads for engagement of Labourers, and daily Wagers in contravention of Government Orders.
This needs to be ensured so that a proper mechanism is devised for payment of wages to various categories under a common head. The move will curb the tendency of misuse of payment of wages from other object head of accounts.
The State government has finally initiated concrete steps to regularize daily wagers and it has come as a major relief for thousands of casual and daily wage workers working in various departments.
Having spent years working hard with meager wages often paid after delay of many months and years, these daily wagers have been waiting for this announcement for long.
The state cabinet had on October 23 this year accepted the roadmap prepared by the high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary for absorption, regularization of Casual, Seasonal laborers and Daily Rated Workers to ensure sustainable livelihood to hundreds of such workers engaged over a period of several years.
Although the announcement and the consequent execution is a welcome and long due step, the process leaves us with more questions to answer. Foremost being the fact that the process of identification of such daily wagers that was carried out by the government puts the numbers of such workers at over a lakh.
And the numbers being talked about by the CM and the finance minister remain at sixty. Thus leaving us to think of what happens to other fifty thousand workers. One can only hope that the remaining people are also taken care of.
Another important facet of the whole issue is that it brings to fore the fact that corrupt politico-bureaucratic setup has time and again violated rules to accommodate daily wagers, need based, causal workers for their petty benefits and vote bank politics. Hence, the numbers that stare us-in the face today.
This is a golden chance for the administration to rectify the mistakes committed in past and ensure that the process of such illegal appointments is put to an end once for all. So that in future we don’t face such a crisis again. For ensuring this disciplining the fiscal setup is a must.