Salaried employees holding government jobs and pensioners will get their dues credited to their accounts this month and do not have to harbour any anxieties on that score.
A state government functionary quelled fears about any delay in the payment of salaries or pension and said the treasury had enough funds to meet the expenditure.
“Salary, wage and pension as a block has the first charge on government revenue. And it is not that difficult to arrange requisite funds. Apprehensions of any delay in payments are totally unfounded,” the official said.
According to a separate source in the state administration, the state treasury has been asked to prioritise salary and pension payout over all other heads of expenditure.
Meanwhile, several public sector undertakings have already released the pay orders for the salaried employees and pensioners.
On Tuesday, bank officials assured that salary and pension would be credited on time.
“As soon as the pay order is received, the amount will be credited to the respective accounts,” one bank official said.
The lockdown precipitated by the coronavirus scare had stoked fears among pensioners about payment delays.
“The branch of a PSU bank from where I draw my pension had remained shut for most of last week. It opened on Monday but there was a long queue as five persons were allowed inside at one time. I cannot stand for too long. But since I don’t have an ATM card, I will have to,” said a 68-year-old retired school teacher in Taratala.
The Bengal government’s revenues have come under strain because of the lockdown.
There are three major sources for the state to generate revenue: excise from sale of liquor, stamp duty on immovable property, and sales tax from petrol and diesel. It also earns GST in the form of state GST (SGST). Due to low economic activity, earnings under all these heads are likely to be down.
However, a government officer said GST collections had not come down to a trickle. “Groceries and medicines are being sold in the market after all,” the official pointed out.
However, banks are anticipating a massive rush at branches in the first week of April.
“There is a possibility that there could be a rush from Thursday onwards,” an official said.
Wednesday is the annual closing day and the banks will be shut for general public .
Source: The Telegraph