Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) with an annual budget of over Rs2,500 crore has hiked the exgratia amount to be given to permanent employees by Rs200 and for contract employees by Rs300.
Accordingly the standing committee on Thursday cleared the amount of Rs12,500 as exgratia for employees, while contract workers will get an amount of Rs5,000 as bonus this Diwali.
The opposition members have dubbed this hike as “discouraging” for officials and workers who work all year along for the civic body.
The hike of Rs200 works out at Rs16.66 per month for regular employees and Rs25 per month for contract workers and comprehensively the figure works out at Rs1,041.66 for regular employees per month and Rs416.66 per month for contract employees.
Congress corporator, Santosh Shetty, opposed yearly practice of hiking ex-gratia/bonus by Rs300 or Rs400. “Inflation has grown by leaps and bounds and we should increase the bonus amount by at least Rs5,000 to Rs6,000, so that people can at least purchase something good during the festive season.”
He added, “We clear tenders worth crores. The escalated costs for any project are given clearance without any discussions. Then why is it that we are limiting ourselves when it comes to giving bonus to our employees.”
Shiv Sena corporator, Vijayanand Mane, too, seconded the views expressed by Shetty and demanded hike of Rs5,000 this year. “Last year we hiked the bonus by Rs800 we need to give something substantial to the employees ahead of festival.”
NCP corporator, Shivram Patil, demanded officials to give a presentation on current economic condition of NMMC. “Before taking any final call to hike bonus, standing committee members should be given a clear idea as to what is the financial situation of civic body. We have also heard that NMMC has not been able to clear bills of contractors last month and so we need to know what is the state of our finances and what is the tax collection from property tax department and town planning.”
Patil’s party colleague Vaibhav Gaikwad, said, “The civic body should release bonus at least a week ahead of Diwali. Every year it happens that employees are not given their bonus on time.”
Municipal commissioner, Abasaheb Jarhad, informed the members that the administration had prepared the proposal for exgratia and bonus after studying all the factors at central and state government levels and the current phase of the economic growth.
“As on September30, the collection from LBT or cess was around Rs100 crore more than what it was last year. In 2012 NMMC had collected Rs205 crore as cess and this year we have collected Rs305 crore. However, we have to consider that the civic body will be undertaking some big projects and will need money for the same. According to the new LBT regime there are 59 items in the exempted list, the number was 33 during cess system. Also export items are exempted in LBT structure as a result NMMC will be losing out on that revenue this year,” Jarhad said.
If the civic administration’s proposal is accepted by the standing committee and general body it will cost civic exchequer an amount of around Rs4.29 crore towards ex-gratia and bonus.