Special Correspondent

Accident insurance scheme being planned

Fixing of pay revision date after discussions Pay revision to push up revenue deficitBank loan for employees to buy computerWithheld benefits for staff to be released

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In addition to reiterating the Government's promise to give the revised pay to the Government employees and teachers along with the salary for March, Finance Minister Vakkom Purushothaman made use of the Budget speech which delivered in the Assembly on Friday to redress a strong grievance cutting across party lines of the service organisations.

The grievance related to the withholding of the DA and allowances of those who entered Government service between January 16, 2002 and May 31, 2003. The service organisations had been demanding the payment of these benefits.

The Minister announced to the accompaniment of desk thumping by the UDF members that the withheld benefits amounting to Rs.80 crores would be released to them.

Referring to the pay revision, he said the Government had already declared that the pay and allowances of the Government employees for March 2006 would be at enhanced rates on the basis of the pay revision. The date of effect of the pay revision would be determined after discussions with the leaders of political parties and service organisations.

The issue of pay revision figured again towards the end of his speech when he was referring to the revenue deficit. The Minister said the revenue deficit for 2006-07 was estimated to be Rs.4,731.70 crores. This was mainly due to payment of salary and pension at enhanced rate after pay revision, devolution of the local self-governments and increase in interest payments.

The Minister stated that the Government would take the initiative for enabling the Government employees, including teachers, to introduce for themselves an accident insurance scheme. It would ensure insurance coverage of at least Rs.7 lakhs to the family of a Government employee who met with accidental death.

He also announced the Government's resolve to introduce a scheme for making available loan through banks to Government employees for the purchase of computers. The loan could be repaid through recovery from the salary.