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Railway employees demand removal of bonus ceiling


10 Oct, 2013 1:53p.m.

Railway employees in Aurangabad have not welcomed the central government's decision to pay the wages of 78 days as a bonus. Instead, they have demanded that the government abolish the ceiling for calculation of the productivity-linked-bonus (PLB) and also that PLB be decided on the actual basic pay of employees, not on the average basic pay.

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Employees have said that their average basic pay is low and is around Rs 3500.

On October 2, the Union cabinet had approved the proposal of the ministry of railways for the payment of productivity-linked bonus equivalent to the wages of 78 days, for the financial year 2012-'13, for all eligible non-gazetted railway employees. Over 12.37 lakh non-gazetted railway employees are set to benefit from the decision, while the financial implication of payment of 78 days' bonus to railway employees, which was the same last year, has been estimated to be over Rs 1,043.43 crore.

However, the decision of 78 days' wages as bonus did not elicit a positive response, with disgruntled railway employees protesting the "poor PLB" announced by the government.

"It does not make any sense to give peanuts in the name of PLB, especially at a time when the railways have recorded an increase in the Gross Traffic Receipt of 18.85 per cent in 2012-'13, as compared to the previous year. With most of us are drawing a salary over Rs 20,000, the PLB of a mere Rs 8,975 is very low. The bonus should tantamount to at least an entire month's salary drawn by the employee, or more," said a station master from the Nanded division of the South Central Railways.

U Venkateswarlu, the Nanded divisional secretary of South Central Railway Employees Sangh, said, "PLB to the railway employees is now being calculated on the average Basic Pay of Rs 3,500, and not on the original basic pay. The existing ceiling for payment of PLB is Rs 3,500 per month, which was enhanced from Rs 2,500 a couple of years ago, after the unions carried out a long-drawn struggle."

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