Kolkata

48 holidays in 2022 for Govt. staff in Bengal

In 2019, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, often accused by her adversaries of being partial to Muslims, had doubled in the 2020 calendar the number of holidays given for several Hindu festivals. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

West Bengal has announced a long list of holidays for State Government employees for 2022, a largesse that’s a repeat of the preceding two years when it had proved futile because people stayed home anyway due to the pandemic.

As per the State Government’s 2022 calendar unveiled last week, the total number of public holidays stood at 48. It’s a different matter that 11 of these days happen to be Sundays, something that beneficiaries are deeply unhappy about. But they still get to enjoy 37 holidays in a year, something that their counterparts in other States would probably wish for.

“The debt-ridden [State] Government is unable to hike our dearness allowance — the DA we earn is about 30% less than what Central Government employees earn — that’s why it is compensating us with holidays,” a civil servant told The Hindu, asking not to be named.

The officer, unlike many other State Government employees, didn’t seem too perturbed about the fact that many of the public holidays fell on a Sunday in 2022. “The Government, I am sure, will make up for this clash closer to the respective dates,” the civil servant said. In fact, the list already makes up for one clash: usually, the day after Saraswati Puja is also a holiday but since the day following the festival happens to be a Sunday in 2022, the day before Saraswati Puja has been declared a holiday.

State Government employees will also get to stay away from work for one-third of the month of October, thanks to Durga Puja. Puja holidays begin on September 30 and stretch right up to October 10. Kali Puja, which will follow the long Puja holidays, will see a three-day closure.

Doubled in 2020

It was in late 2019 that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, often accused by her adversaries of being partial to Muslims, had doubled in the 2020 calendar the number of holidays given for several Hindu festivals. She obviously had an eye on Assembly elections that were round the corner at the time. But those extra holidays are now a permanent part of the Government calendar. Saraswati Puja, Holi, Chhat and Id-ul-Fitr are now marked with two-day holidays in West Bengal. The festivals of Shivaratri and Janmashtami, more popular across north India and rarely celebrated in a big way in West Bengal, were also notified as public holidays in late 2019.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 1:14:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/48-holidays-in-2022-for-govt-staff-in-bengal/article37780569.ece

Next Story