The first of every month is often when the government of Punjab pay salaries for the previous month. However, as per the sources and media reports, this month, the government has been facing financial difficulty since the GST compensation regime ended. Moreover, as claimed, the state government is facing a crisis of funds.
Reportedly, in the prior fiscal year, the state received Rs 16,000 crore as GST compensation from the Central government. Meanwhile, this is for the first time when the salary of the government employees has been delayed for almost a week now. However, as claimed, the Aam Aadmi Party government, since coming to power, has been paying the salaries to its employees on time, except for this month.
Congress MLA and senior leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira has slammed the Bhagwant Mann government over delays in the salary to the government staff. In a tweet, Sukhpal Khaira stated:
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As per the info, the state government’s yearly salary bill is almost Rs.31,171 crores, i.e. almost Rs. 2,600 crore per month. Reportedly, class C and B, who are paid less than class A and B officials, get their salaries first, when the government is short of money. On Monday, when the state government announced to regularise the contractual employees, it resulted in adding a burden of Rs. 400 crore per month on the state exchequer.
Furthermore, the Punjab government even dissolved the social welfare department, and all its 12 employees have been shifted to the other departments. The media reports claim that an official stated, “We are worried that in the next month, we won’t be able to pay the salaries till 15th. It would be a challenging situation.”
However, Harpal S Cheema, the finance minister in Punjab government, claimed that due to the regularization of 9,000 contractual employees, the salary of the government staff got delayed, adding that it has been released today, and everyone will receive their salaries in the accounts by the evening.
With this, the financial situation for the Punjab government seems challenging now. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how the government copes up with this crisis and pays the salary to its staff.