Non-remittance of Dearness Allowance in West Bengal: Fund-crunch or Priority-anomaly?
Mamata Banerjee and disregard to National Anthem case: Sanction no longer required argued prosecutor
Mamata Banerjee and disregard to National Anthem case: Sanction no longer required argued prosecutor
The Dearness Allowance Case of West Bengal Government personnel is being fought teeth and nail within the Court of Law considering the fact that 2016 or even in advance. While DA is an vital part of the earnings of Government personnel to be remitted time to time as the price rise adjustment issue, West Bengal Government remained adamant to deal with dearness allowance as ex-gratia payment. While DA is supposed to be remitted at a predictably ordinary c programming language primarily based on patron price index calculation and is supposed to be computed based on a specific mathematical formulation as a percent of the fundamental salary, West Bengal Govt, from 2012, remitted DA whimsically as though depending on good mood of the business enterprise. Such mindset meditated that of a feudal lord while Govt of a democracy had no legitimate scope to behave on this way. Government being no longer an person but a collective entity comprising all of the humans of the State together with its personnel as properly, Government’s show of whims and temper swings like a pregnant or peri-menopausal girl seemed to haven’t any legitimacy.
While dearness allowance is only a ratio associated with charge index rendering a degree of the cost of living in a selected vicinity, West Bengal authorities remitted DA in a way of ex-gratia charge defying the middle characteristic of DA. The State remitted it once a year up to 2021 & the quantity various unpredictably and inconsistently, arithmetic whereof changed into never provided through the State in its long-lasting fight inside the Court of Law. The petitioners on behalf of the employees too in no way requested the Government representatives to offer their mathematical foundation of DA remittance. This have to be accomplished by the petitioners inside the Court. The State of West Bengal desires to offer the arithmetic at the back of their DA remittance.
As Government of India publishes monthly rate indices, DA thing of Government personnel’ earnings remains absolutely predictable. Looking on the variation pattern of charge index, DA may be exactly plotted alongside the timeline. Such DA aspect, in West Bengal, went arbitrary, maths-much less, schizophrenic and infinitely torpid.
Isn’t Government’s Affordability a Factor?
Depending on affordability of the Government, the State can defer the fee of the fee upward push adjustment component called DA for some reasonable time period and for an inexpensive reason. For instance, the Central Finance Ministry iced over the Dearness Allowance (DA) to the Central authorities employees from January 2020 up to January 2021 because of disaster springing up out of Covid Pandemic. Central Government declared to freeze the 3 instalments remittable in January 2020, July 2020 & January 2021. However, it resumed DA fee, as announced of their order, from July 2021. It must be noted that such freeze changed into depending on Government’s lack of affordability for an affordable motive and a reasonable time period which changed into pre-declared & predictable. Central Government resumed DA price from July 2021 on the then revised price subsuming the quotes of the three unpaid instalments. However, Government can’t remit DA at a lesser charge or a greater price (if they could’t gift the mathematical computation thereof), nor can it defer such fee for extraordinarily long duration, as uncommon deferment implies non-remittance of the price upward thrust adjustment thing (DA) at the time while that level of price upward push turned into affecting the personnel.
West Bengal Government Was Not a Gross DA Defaulter until 2012
Till 2012, West Bengal Government remitted DA predictably on the equal fee as given with the aid of the Central Government. The State, however, remitted it after an inexpensive postpone put up the Central Government’s remittance of a selected instalment. The State not on time, on a mean, by using nine months – 21 months to pay the same instalment to the State personnel. From 2008 onwards GOWB changed into tending to reduce the time lag among Central remittance & its personal. However, after January 2012, DA began behaving in a unusual manner in West Bengal reflecting, as though, a particular character’s temper. This time onwards DA assumed the face of ex-gratia fee and didn’t maintain the function of DA any extra. West Bengal Government commenced defaulting DA fee from after 2012.
What is Price Index? What is All India Consumer Price Index Number AICPIN?
Generally talking, Price Index is a ratio among the charge of some commodity throughout a particular period and the rate of the identical commodity at an in advance base period. The all India client charge index wide variety, AICPIN, for business employees is being compiled with the aid of the Labour Bureau beneath the Government of India and is the most properly regularly occurring fee of living index in India. One can discover list of monthly AICPINs as posted through the Labour Bureau of India.
Nine: Pattern of DA Payment with the aid of West Bengal Government
One can have a look at inside the desk that until January 2012 West Bengal Government remitted DA on the equal fees as that of the Central Government albeit with a few delay which couldn’t be marked as unreasonable. Starting from July 2006, GoWB remitted initially after 1 yr 9 months of the Centre’s remittance of the same instalment while they regularly reduced the time lag. Coming to 2010, GoWB decreased the time lag to 9 months. After 9 months of the Centre’s payment of DA on the price of 35% with effect from January 2010, GoWB paid the identical 35% DA from October 2010. Though in the period in-between from July 2010, the Central Government introduced some other instalment of 10% DA, as a consequence revising the DA for their employees from 35% to 45%. Going by means of the norm of a postpone of 9 to ten months, the personnel of the Government of West Bengal should assume that instalment from on occasion round April or May 2011. But as 2011 become the election 12 months, GoWB didn’t, understandably, remit any DA instalment at that point. In January 2012, GoWB paid that instalment of 10% DA, therefore revising the DA price from 35% to forty five% which changed into paid by means of the Central Government in July 2010, once more increasing the distance to 1 yr 6 months. In January 2013, GOWB first remitted an instalment which didn’t match the Centre’s percent. Central Government remitted fifty one% DA in January 2011 while GOWB remitted a 52% in January 2013. The time lag expanded to 2 years & the % went erratic. This become the primary ever signal of GoWB going rabid with recognize to DA remittance. Again, in July 2012, Centre remitted seventy two%, whilst GoWB remitted 75% 3 years 6 months later. Whimsical remittance persisted & the time lag went on increasing denying the fundamental characteristic of DA and its indispensability for the personnel. As Central Government paid 80% in January 2013, West Bengal Government paid unexplained eighty five% four years later in January 2017. No one, as but, has requested GoWB their foundation for calculating such probabilities which differed from those of the Centre. This arithmetic is inevitable as DA is continually a mathematical aspect, and not a fanciful ex-gratia component, of employees’ profits.
Is It Necessary for West Bengal Government to Remit DA at the Central Rate?
It doesn’t appear so. As DA is based on customer rate index, West Bengal can remit DA as according to the State’s personal CPIN if such CPINs had been calculated following an popular mathematical basis and posted from time to time to date (the way AICPINs are posted by the Labour Bureau at some point of). However, if nation particular CPIN is not available for West Bengal and if the components to calculate such West Bengal particular CPIN have no longer been derived, checked & verified, West Bengal DA must be remitted based on AICPIN. The set West Bengal being part of the bigger set India, it has to remit DA based on All India CPIN in absence of WBCPIN. However, as DA is 100% associated with patron price index & fee index depends on inflation, West Bengal Government personnel were speculated to get a price of DA better than that of the Central Government employees had WBCPIN remained in life. This is because price of inflation in West Bengal has almost consistently been 2.Five% better than the average National fee of inflation. However, even supposing WBCPIN is made to be had now, it would be evasive and manipulative of West Bengal Government to undertaking the directive of the 5th Pay Commission for GoWB employees to remit DA as in line with Central price because it became no longer to be had on the time of the recommendation by means of the fifth Pay Commission in 2009. It is unfortunate that the Finance Secretary West Bengal, in his affidavit to the Calcutta High Court on November nine, 2022 had anticipated the Hon’ble Court to calculate the dearness allowance payable to GoWB personnel based totally on AICPI. If the Court had to calculate DA, the real cause at the back of West Bengal Government’s price of hefty monthly sum to Shri Abhirup Sarkar (brother-in-law of Alapan Bandyopadhyay) because the Chairman of the 6th Pay Commission for GoWB personnel remained doubtful. Shri Sarkar, for all sensible functions, copied & pasted the file of the seventh Pay Commission for Government of India personnel and took four years for such copying and pasting even as his actual process became to calculate the DA for all GoWB employees belonging to distinct profits slabs primarily based on their simple pays. Who desired to pay massive sum of money for four years to Abhirup Sarkar and why did Shri Sarkar agree to accept such monthly sum for copying and pasting remained opaque. Moreover, at the same time as the fifth Pay Commission for West Bengal Government personnel could publish their file within 5 months 15 days after its formation, the 6th Pay Commission chaired with the aid of Abhirup Sarkar took four years. Such unusual delay become reflective of either West Bengal Government’s loss of goal to take the report or Shri Abhirup Sarkar’s inefficiency as chairman.
GoWB suppressed fact in the Court of Law. The GoWB memorandum no. 1691-F dated 23.02.2009 (the record wherein whatever about DA was referred to beneath ROPA policies 2009), there have been 5 points noted at the start because the reason for setting up such pay fee. The 5th point thereof sincerely stated– “to make pointers on every of the above having regards inter alia to the prevailing pay structure beneath the Central Government, public area undertakings & other State Government and so forth…”. This implies that the very motive of framing the pay commission was to herald a parity among the pay structures of the Central Government & GoWB. Suppressing this element, the GoWB as a substitute emphasised the ending words of the equal factor that said “…the assets of the State Government & the needs thereon on account of the dedication of the State Government to developmental activities.” In this fashion, the GoWB attempted their satisfactory to interpret before the Hon’ble Court that as West Bengal Government become no longer left with enough resources after enjoyable their developmental commitments like gala’s, video games, gala’s, and many others. (non-dedicated revenue expenditure in fact), it become no longer feasible for them to remit DA to their employees. This approach of suppressing a part of the truth to express a few different to their personal advantage speaks volumes about GoWB’s unfortunate and deceitful mind-set. GoWB didn’t fail to govern and show double requirements to fail their personal commitment of 2009 and started remitting DA whimsically & insufficiently with the spirit of paying dole to their employees.
What Does Whimsical and Delayed Remittance of DA Signify?
Unusual put off in DA remittance signifies discount of earnings. With price rise, purchase energy of fundamental profits reduces that is kept at the bottom stage via remitting DA. Non-fee of DA method leading employees to compromise with existence itself. This is why Calcutta High Court stated it turned into a violation of the fundamental right to life of GoWB employees as in line with Article 21 of the Constitution of India. GoWB possibly didn’t want to put off its employees’ right to lifestyles, but through now not remitting DA, it correctly sluggish poisoned them.
How would Government Remit DA whilst It Doesn’t Have Fund?
If Government doesn’t have fund to pay its personnel, Government wishes to lay them off paying off all their dues consisting of the arrear DA not remitted goodbye. However, to reveal that it’s miles in fund crunch, Government desires to showcase due volume of economic field. Government’s fiscal guidelines need to mirror the equal crisis even as West Bengal Government’s budgetary expenditure contemplated in any other case. In spite of being a State of primary deficit, West Bengal Government’s main fiscal technique has been distribution of doles & subsidies along with competitive promoting of financial crimes in the State. West Bengal is witnessing surprisingly massive amounts of economic crimes and it would be inexplicable naïveté to presume that such huge financial scams in the State ought to have occurred without the active & passive participation of the Government machinery itself. While scams happened in the departments of various Ministers E.G. Education Ministry, Centre’s Grant for Cyclone Amphan Relief and for numerous different social schemes (eg MNREGA, PMAY) too ended up being embezzled which became impossible without the direct participation of the Government machinery. Cyclone Amphan Relief Fund had been audited via CAG and was described to comprise a “very big variety of irregularities”. Moreover, West Bengal Government had taken no decisive steps to reduce the trans-border smuggling and trafficking crimes of gigantic volumes until such crimes commenced being investigated by the CBI & the ED. As an economic outcome of such a lot of scams and monetary crimes, West Bengal turned into a large cash-based totally economic system ensuing in big inflation & selective distribution of wealth.
It may be applicable to say here that Niti Aayog’s assessment of sustainable development desires of 2021 had shown Kolkata and West Bengal to be a State of choppy distribution of wealth. While Kolkata secured a rating of only 3 out of a hundred in Niti Aayog‘s SDG Goal 8 i.E. “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, it secured 27 out of one hundred in Goal 2 i. E. “Zero Hunger”. While Kolkata had no jobs & turned into very far away from collective hunger mitigation, certain people within the State had seized and hoarded coins and gold and limitless properties of their own unholy grips. People started out witnessing such hoards being unearthed by using the ED in one of a kind locations of Kolkata from July 2022 beginning proper from Partha Chatterjee’s near aide’s region. Such statistics really indicated selective distribution and accumulation of wealth in Kolkata giving upward thrust to inflation at an artificially excessive price. West Bengal’s rate of inflation has almost constantly been 2.Five% better than the National fee of inflation reason whereof is in all likelihood to be rooted in West Bengal’s fiscal indiscipline & crime-prone nature. In this type of State of big inflation, West Bengal Government isn’t remitting DA to Government personnel who do not have legal scope to earn from another assets however need to hold their obligations. Such human beings, no marvel, are feeling suffocated to live with underpayment. Many such employees, as a result, are resorting to unlawful malpractices and bribery including in addition to inflation. As DA is a hundred% related to customer rate index & fee index depends on inflation, West Bengal Government employees are preferably alleged to get a charge of DA better than that of the Central Government personnel as rate of inflation in West Bengal is better than the average all India fee. However, even though not at a higher charge, they’re imagined to get as a minimum at the Central charge for you to maintain within the cash heavy crime State of West Bengal.
As They Appear to Have Stolen & Embezzled the Fund, How Would West Bengal Government Arrange Fund for DA Remittance Now?
West Bengal’s budgetary planning didn’t reflect fund crunch as West Bengal Government allotted large and large quantity beneath “non-committed revenue expenditure head” year after 12 months. Over FY 20-21, the State allotted 36.68% growth in subsidies in FY 21-22 even as it allotted every other 14.8% growth in FY 22-23 over FY 21-22. Out of the 4 States declared financially ‘bimaru’ with the aid of RBI, West Bengal has registered maximum boom in subsidies allotment in FY 21-22 over FY 20-21 in addition to in FY 22-23 over FY 21-22. This means West Bengal Government didn’t practice economic restraint yet cried hoarse about fund crunch.
Had GoWB remitted subsidies i.E. Non-committed sales expenditure at the equal fee in FY 21-22, as that of FY 20-21, the State could have remitted arrear DA in ultimate economic yr itself. In FY 21-22, GoWB allocated (90327 – 66085) Crores = 24242 Crores greater over FY 20-21. This quantity turned into nearly sufficient to remit arrear DA to all Government personnel. In FY 22-23, GoWB allotted a in addition amount of (103694 – 90327) Crores = 13366 Crores subsidy over the quantity it allocated in FY 21-22. This incremental amount too could have remitted almost half of the arrear DA of the Government employees. This suggests that the giant soar Government of West Bengal had taken in budgeting for its non-dedicated sales fees in two consecutive financial years turned into in itself almost enough for arrear DA remittance. Keeping dole distribution withheld for simply one year, DA can be paid off. Once paying off the arrear DA, regular DA remittance won’t add more than just around a few thousand crores a financial year in revenue & pension head which would be a miniscule amount compared to the doles that GoWB distributes every year, year after 12 months.
Are There Any Other Ways for GoWB to Arrange for Fund?
West Bengal Government couldn’t spend even 50% of its budgetary allocation for capital expenditure in FY 21-22, but taken a seventy three% boom in this head of money owed in FY 22-23. That fund may be shifted to the dedicated revenue expenditure head for remitting arrear DA.
If, West Bengal Government budgets to grow with a bit of luck via 50% in FY 22-23 in Capital Outlay Actuals over FY 21-22 RE, it wishes to allot 28762 Crores in Capital Outlay and might take the relaxation (33144-28762) = 4381 Crores for committed sales expenditure disbursements.
Government has to remit DA due to the fact it’s far GoWB’s prison duty. Salary is a priority expenditure even as dole distribution is a populist coverage of the ruling political celebration. Government of West Bengal, however, has greater duty to behave upon the Constitutional dictates protecting the essential rights of Government employees than to defend the ruling party’s populist hobby. Getting dole, moreover, isn’t any essential proper of the State populace. While Manoj Pant, Finance Secretary of West Bengal indicated, in his affidavit to Calcutta High Court, that remitting DA might bring about catastrophic consequences to the State, non-remittance of DA for an unreasonably long duration had already delivered a far more disaster. It is unlucky & suspicious that Manoj Pant had did not mark that disaster. Or, possibly Pant meant that it might be a catastrophe if the GoWB had to pay the DA over and above the doles, indicating that GoWB had no way out but to distribute the doles dedicated by the CM by hook or by means of crook just to maintain the populist hobby of the Supremo of the ruling political birthday party who perhaps prefers to preserve her political identity as ruling birthday celebration Supremo above her constitutional identity as the CM of the State. It can be predicted that the Finance Secretary of West Bengal didn’t mean something such in his sworn affidavit earlier than the Calcutta High Court due to the fact in that case it may quantity to an reliable admittance that within the State of West Bengal, political pursuits are officially prioritized over constitutional responsibilities, indicating a complete breakdown of constitutional machinery. Remitting non-committed revenue expenditure cannot be a commitment of the Government in truth.
As GoWB Has Been Habituated Paying Dole In Lieu of DA Money, How Can They Deprive the Dole Getters Now?
If so, then it’s miles untruthful of GoWB to assert fund crunch. It is precedence anomaly in fact & consequently, illegal. Dole cannot be remitted on the value of employees’ profits as that might set a demonic fashion of anarchy in which violating limits of legitimacy would seem normal, as a consequence converting a democracy right into a demonocracy. The Constitution of India hasn’t created any room for such illegal, chaotic practices.
Doesn’t West Bengal Have to Pay Huge Interest on Loan Taken So Far?
Truth is stranger than fiction. Amongst the four States declared ‘bimaru’ via RBI, Kerala has to pay the maximum in step with capita hobby observed by using Punjab, West Bengal & Rajasthan in descending order. With admire to the State’s large population of around 10.19 crore, West Bengal’s hobby payment is not surprisingly big with recognize to the other three mortgage confused States of India.
Isn’t West Bengal’s Loan Burden More as It Has to Pay a Huge Sum for Government Employees’ Salary? Do Other States Have to Spend This High in Salary?
Amongst the four ‘bimaru’ States, West Bengal registered the least increase year after year resulting from revenue & pension even as West Bengal’s population is highest amongst the 4. West Bengal additionally spends the least in terms of in keeping with capita expenditure on Salary & Pension leaving its per capita revenue expenditure unusually low in comparison to West Bengal’s large population whilst quantity of Government employees of a State have to be immediately proportional to the State’s population density. As a end result, it is able to be located, West Bengal is failing to carry out in numerous fields, together with tackling the Dengue outbreak within the State.
If West Bengal Government Has to Remit the Balance 35% DA, How Is It Possible that Regular DA Remittance Won’t Add More Than Just Around A Few Thousand Crores A Financial Year In ‘Salary & Pension’ Head?
In FY 22-23, West Bengal Government has allocated 83522 Crores for revenue & pensions, and is currently paying DA at a three% rate while Central Government is remitting DA at a fee of 38%. As consistent with figures, 35% of 83522 is equal to 29232.7 Crores. So, mathematically, West Bengal Government is supposed to require a further 30 thousand crores to remit DA to West Bengal Government Employees on the charge of 38% every monetary 12 months. However, in truth, only a few thousand crores would be virtually enough for annual DA remittance at 38% fee as out of all personnel of GoWB, a huge number are civic i.E. Informal employees, contractual workers and ‘Karmabandhus.’ These categories of personnel do not draw as in keeping with Government scale. ‘Karmabandhus’ draw about one 1/3 of what the civic people draw and the civic employees draw round 8-nine thousand a month. This means DA gained’t be payable to a massive majority of people who’re being paid from the salary head of the account of West Bengal Government and that is why only some additional thousand crores a 12 months would suffice to remit the right charge of DA. This also approach the Government of West Bengal is strolling with the help of mercenaries and no longer committed humans. This explains the autumn of regulation and order and the non-overall performance of the Government in distinctive fields of operations e.G. Dengue Management.
How Paying DA could be better for the fiscal health of West Bengal?
West Bengal Government didn’t replicate fund crunch in its budgetary making plans and created sufficient scope for fund embezzlement by using doling out significantly large quantity in doles and subsidies in spite of having a stupendously high mortgage burden on the public treasury. While West Bengal Government claimed fund crunch by using affidavit, it should have registered terrible growth or at least stagnation yr after 12 months in terms in their budgetary allocation for non-committed prices. But that has now not passed off. They have allotted disproportionately large boom for non-devoted revenue expenditures yr after 12 months. A fund crunched Government gradually elevating non-devoted charges is not economically possible. Moreover, as West Bengal has embezzled the Central Grant for disaster management, MNREGA and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and so on., no motive to count on that the State’s disproportionately massive sum of non-dedicated revenue expenditure (i.E. Dole distribution) would be spent righteously without defalcation. From West Bengal Government’s antecedents, it can be competently assumed that big budgetary allocation for subsidies too is meant to carry on with the overall fashion of embezzlement of public money. Such Government needs to undertake the direction of financial penance & bind themselves tight in economic field through directing maximum in their fund to repay the committed prices. This manner, the Government might be left with lesser quantity to defalcate. At the cease of FY 22-23, GoWB could have a loan burden of 5.87 lac crore which, after adding the DA burden, would become round a 6.5 lac crore. While Government of West Bengal would ought to repay the mortgage and the DA, it’s miles better for them to spend more on devoted expenditure heads like income, pension, interest & reimbursement of mortgage by means of proscribing itself on populist, non-devoted sales fees. This would progressively enhance the condition of West Bengal from financial cachexia. To bring the State onto the course of economic subject, DA remittance seems to be a healing measure. Moreover, DA cash might no longer best assist employees to stay with their due salary but might also percolate down into the financial system from the employees’ fingers to permit the economy roll comparatively more healthy.
What Could Be the Ways for West Bengal Government to Increase the State’s Own Revenue to Prevent Future Fund-crunch?
Leading humans to drink alcoholic liquor isn’t a wholesome manner to elevate fund, however Government of West Bengal is making an attempt such debauchery to collect greater quantum of Excise Duty from extended income of liquor inside the State. As a result, if increased ingesting damages fitness of the State’s populace or reasons ethical fall, the Government doesn’t appearance afflicted. However, alternatively, the State can move all out to accumulate more GST from the business area as West Bengal is a eating State with a large 10.19 crore populace. It is not any much less unexpected that containing greater than double the populace of Odisha (forty seven,099,270), West Bengal’s series of GST is not even 1.5 times that of Odisha’s. In September 2022, whilst Odisha has amassed 3765 Crores, West Bengal has amassed 4804 Crores simplest that’s just 1.28 instances that of Odisha’s series. However, GST being a consumption tax, collection of GST is meant to be directly proportional to the amount of consumption and amount of intake is meant to be without delay proportional to the populace. West Bengal’s GST series has scope to be stepped forward a lot in addition and GoWB wishes to target that, in preference to targeting to make common humans alcohol addicts. In West Bengal, however, revenue collection has been under-prioritized. While the ruling birthday party guys has practiced extortion from businessmen primarily based on their commercial enterprise turnover, State Government had endorsed evasion. As a result, West Bengal corporations have a standard trend to function with big cash transactions reputedly for ease of evasion. The State had not anything to lose as sales shortfall changed into programmed to be compensated by way of the Central Government till March 2022 as consistent with GST regulation. Such length of repayment, however, has been prolonged via GST council keeping Covid compromise of the economic system in mind. Since 2012, West Bengal Government systematically undermined revenue & resorted to marketplace borrowing ending up constructing a astounding loan mount on the general public treasury. This technique must be altered. GST Collection wishes to be prioritized to arrange for fund.