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No pay cut if government employees stage protests after duty hours: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.   | Photo Credit: PTI

They should not even meet Ministers, says Assam Finance Minister

Government employees including teachers who take part in protests against the government policies after duty hours will not lose pay, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at a meeting with the principals and heads of colleges here on Wednesday. “We cannot prevent anyone from protesting or expressing his or her concerns in a democracy. But that does not mean school, college teachers and other government officers and employees can take to the streets during duty hours. They should not even meet Ministers,” said Mr. Sarma, who handles Education too.

“The pay cut will apply to all — from the clerk to the doctor if duty hours are used for other activities,” he said.

Mr. Sarma also announced a scheme under which some 20,000 students living in hostels would be given ₹7,000 annually to “easing the fiscal burden” on their parents.

“We estimated that a hostel boarder spends about ₹1,400 per month for 10 months excluding two months of holidays. We want to bear 50% of this expenditure and hope to raise it to foot the entire bill.”

He said the money would be deposited in the bank account of each student and the college principals were called for the meeting primarily to work out disbursement with the Finance Department. “We intend to deposit the amount before February 10.”

The Sarbananda Sonowal-led government has been on a sop spree after the violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that left six people dead in Assam since December 12-14 last year. These included a one-time grant of ₹50,000 to artistes and technicians who had been leading the protests against the amended citizenship law.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 10:58:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-pay-cut-if-government-employees-stage-protests-after-duty-hours-himanta/article30625801.ece

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