It was a blunder which the cash-starved Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) could have well avoided. Employees of the civic body’s east division have been paid their monthly salary for May 2012 not once, but twice.
It has come to light that the bank accounts of 82 employees of the civic body had been credited with their monthly salary on June 11 and again on June 12. But, soon they realised that it was neither a bonus nor a cent per cent hike in salary. The cash in their accounts had swelled on account of a software glitch.
The BBMP officials laid the blame for the goof up on the doorstep of the software company that handles online transfer of salaries for the civic body’s employees.
Confirming the lapse, BBMP’s Chief Accounts Officer Ramachandra Gowda said the private software company had erroneously transferred the salary of the employees, totalling about Rs. 60 lakh to Rs. 70 lakh, twice. “So, the employees have received their salary twice,” he said.
Although the software company quickly responded with a written apology to BBMP’s Special Commissioner K.R. Niranjan, the civic body does not appear to be in a mood to forgive the firm. The BBMP is seriously considering a proposal to terminate its contract with it and hand over the responsibility to another company, BBMP sources said. But, recovering the money paid in excess to the employees is turning out to be a challenge for the BBMP. Though a few employees returned the excess amount, which was not theirs, back to the civic body, many are yet to do so, Mr. Gowda said.
The civic body is now planning to withhold the salary of employees, who had not returned the excess amount, for June. “We may not give such officials their salary for June,” Mr. Gowda added.
Meanwhile, according to Floor Leader of the Janata Dal (S) in the BBMP Council Thimme Gowda the civic body cannot allow the excess funds to remain unrecovered. “We will recover the salary this month by not paying them salary for June.”
Mr. Niranjan, however, said there was no doubt about recovering the excess money paid. “Only, we do not want the recovery measures to affect the employees. We may resort to recovering half the excess [sum] paid this month and the remaining half next month. In any case, we will consult the employees before taking a decision,” he added.