The Chhattisgarh government has scrapped the provision of stipend for government staffers appointed through direct recruitment process, an official said on Sunday. The move will benefit nearly 38,000 government officials and employees. The state Congress government's decision comes ahead of the assembly polls due this year-end.
Under the previous rule, government officials and employees appointed through the direct recruitment process were getting stipends of 70 per cent, 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the basic pay scale consecutively in the first, second and third year of probation. They were only eligible for full salaries from the fourth year of appointment.
The state government amended the recruitment rule in July 2020, citing the need for more financial resources in the efforts to contain the pandemic and reduce salary costs in future appointments. The government then increased the probation period of employees from two years to three and decided to pay them full salaries from the fourth year.
The decision to scrap the stipend provision was announced by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday at the Rajiv Yuva Mitan Sammelan. A decision in this regard was approved by the state cabinet later in the evening.
A political expert in Raipur said the stipend rule could have become an issue in the upcoming assembly polls and the move to end it seems significant to woo employees and their families ahead of the elections.
The Chhattisgarh government is facing a tough challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming assembly polls. The BJP has been targeting the Congress government for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues.
The decision to scrap the stipend provision is likely to be welcomed by government employees. However, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to sway voters in the upcoming elections.