New Delhi: The Haryana Tourism Department has last week issued a controversial order, asking its employees to generate 50 per cent of their salary “from their own sources”.
The order, issued on 14 August, by the Chief Accounts Officer of the Tourism Department, stated that the DDOs (Drawing and Disbursing Officers) and counter in-charges should generate 50 per cent of their last three months’ salary on their own, while 25 per cent would be paid by the government.
The order will hurt at least 1,000 employees, said chairman of Haryana Tourism Employees Union Suresh Nohra.
DDOs are in-charges of tourist complexes across Haryana, while counter in-charges are those who helm the cash and booking counters of those complexes. There are 44 tourist complexes in Haryana.
Employees of the tourism department, including the DDOs and counter-incharges, have not been paid their salaries since the last three months — May, June and July.
The government order stated they would be paid only 25 per cent of the last three months’ salary in the wake of “financial crunch” triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The order, however, promised certain categories of employees, including gardeners, contractual staff, sweepers, staff transferred from one tourist complex to another, and outsourced employees, 100 per cent disbursal of last three months’ salaries.
When ThePrint contacted Vikas Yadav, managing director of the tourism department, he said: “Our department generates its entire revenue on its own. This issue related to salary payment is a temporary one. As and when the situation becomes normal, we will pay salaries on our own behalf.”
Asked about salaries from August, Yadav said: “We will look into it…”
The order has left the employees in lurch as they said it is almost impossible to generate salaries on their own at a time when people are not venturing out at all.
Objection to the order
Speaking to ThePrint, Nohra said: “At least 1,000 employees of the state are being badly affected by this order. They have not received their salaries for the last three months. This month has also passed without salary until 19 (August).”
“This order has been issued for the counter in-charges and DDOs. But employees under both these categories will be able to generate their salaries on their own only when people will start booking restaurants, bars or rooms. At a time when people are not venturing out of their homes to eat out, then they cannot generate salaries in a commercial manner,” he added.
Nohra further said that in April, they had provided services for free to doctors and paramedics in accordance with a government directive.
Haryana Tourism Employees Union members Thursday staged demonstrations in Rohtak to protest against the order.
“We have received support from the All Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union, who has raised their voice for us,” said Nohra.
Tourism employees now stare at an uncertain future in the wake of the order.
An employee, currently posted in Ballabgarh, told ThePrint: “In early days of April when we were asked to serve as Covid Warriors, we worked hard all day and night without caring for even our own health.
“Several of our colleagues even tested positive for Covid (while discharging duties). I am a waiter. The department has clarified nothing about my salary. For the last three months, I have been paying school fees for my children by taking loans. All these have created uncertainty,” he said.
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