Morung Express News
Dimapur | February 7
AJ has not been able to seek admission for her children to a school yet and dates are running out. Being a State Government employed teacher in Dimapur, salaries of teachers like her, expected in the first week of every month, have not yet come in due to the continued bandh on government offices and life has been tough.
“We are not people with savings, and depend on our monthly salary to go by,” said AJ whose family has its own share of debts that more than unite many sections of Naga society today. Now, she has to take more loans from relatives or friends to get admission, buy school uniform and books, and even day-to-day ration. The story is the same for many students who study in the school she teaches in.
The irony is that employees of the Finance Department, the central salary disbursement body in the State, have also not been paid due to the bandh in Kohima, causing undue hardships.
“Only about 10 percent of the departments have managed to submit their bills to us by January 24-25, whose payments have already been forwarded to the banks by January 31 by our department. Apart from these, none of the government employees have been paid yet,” informed an officer working in the Treasuries & Accounts office of the Finance Department.
The total number of government employees in Nagaland State as of March 2014 stands at 95,903, of which 22.47 percent are women, as per the Nagaland Economic Survey 2015-16.
Among government employees, the worst hit will be the work charge/ contingency paid employees of all departments, who consist a whopping 35.25 percent of the government workforce. They are mostly the lowest paid workers with no job guarantee but are the backbone of the infrastructure (sweepers, technicians, sanitation workers, drivers, peons, etc.). While irregular salaries torment them throughout the year, the bandh has only added to this misery.
According to the same Survey (2015-16), salaries & wages accounted for 44.54 percent of the Revenue Expenditure of 2015-16 (Budget Estimate) and 30.66 percent of the total expenditure on Consolidated Fund 2015-16 (Budget Estimate).
Others likely to face hardships are some old people of the State whose pensions have not yet been disbursed, informed a government officer.
While government health workers of the State also continue work sans salaries and the other usual deficiencies, “we are well equipped to handle even mass casualty,” said an optimistic doctor from the Dimapur Civil Hospital.
Apart from this, all development in the State has come to a standstill with service matters lying unprocessed, no payment being doled out for development works, and no movement of files.
The Governor has expressed concern on the hardships being faced by unpaid government workers.