|One month extra salary and nothing for counting, other expenditure|
|Panchayat poll staff left high & dry|
|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Mar 17: Though the state administration has been making arrangements for upcoming parliamentary elections in the state but apart from one month extra salary as promised, the state government has failed to provide money for poll-counting, fuel charges and for other duties.
According to officials who worked as Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, the administration had assured to provide Rs. 10,000 as expenditure for fuel while as Rs. 3500 for poll-counting duty, besides money for working as judicial magistrate and other duties.
There are gross irregularities in the payment of the money by district election officers. "Those who were engaged as Returning Officers as well as Assistant Returning Officers in Urban Local Body elections in several districts of Jammu have got Rs. 3500 for counting duty while the expenditure for petrol was pending", an official.
Another officer, who worked said that they didn't get even Rs 3500 as poll-counting money. "During elections we were assured Rs. 10,000 for fuel expenditure and Rs. 3500 for poll-counting but we got nothing", he said, adding that they had gone to meet the officials of District administration, who said that there was no word from higher administration.
Another returning officer said that in a border district, some employees who got their names cancelled from election duty, got the amount for various works. "After the issue came to the notice of Deputy Commissioner, he took serious note of the matter and started an enquiry", the official said, adding that all the staff, which worked during panchayat elections did not get any money.
There was no word from the administration on the additional one month salary so far. "Confusion still prevails over the payment of one month additional salary to police personnel but those, who were assured one month salary are yet get to get amount which is unfortunate", the official said.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Raman Kumar Kesar said that they had sought details from the districts of the employees engaged in poll duty. "Only after proper scrutiny of the lists, same are forwarded to the Finance department for sanction", Kesar said, adding that it involved a large amount of payments.
He further said that there was no shortage of funds for the payments. "There can be some delay but every employee would get his share as assured during the elections", he assured.