Lack of funds cited as main reason

The Village Administrative Officers (VAO) working in Salem and Yercaud taluks in Salem district have not received their monthly salaries since February this year.

No official reason has been given to the affected VAOs though lack of funds is being cited as the main reason behind the non-distribution of their wages. Incidentally, none of them are facing any disciplinary charges either.

A total of 66 VAOs in Salem taluk and 6 in Yercaud have not received their salaries for the last three months and they have not been asked to avail the leave encashment, Employee Provident Fund etc.

“We have had to visit our taluk offices umpteen times to get our salaries credited in our bank accounts. But for the past three months, we are getting no salary. When we approach the officials in taluk offices in Salem and Yercaud, they have no answer for us,” says a VAO.

Of the total stipulated number of 81 VAOs, only 66 are at present working in Salem taluk while out of 9, only 6 are posted in Yercaud taluk. A senior official told The Hindu that shortage of clerks, typists and accountants in taluk offices has led to the problem.

“The accounting and billing has to be done for which we need the vacancies to be filled up. The problem, we think, will soon be sorted out,” he says and further points out that such a situation is not prevalent in other pockets of the district where more than 350 VAOs are functioning.

Agitated

But VAOs who have not received their pay packets remain agitated. They point out that such a strange situation has never been encountered in their service and many of whom are on the verge of retirement too.

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