At FCI, Some Loaders Earn more than Rs 4 Lakh/Month

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  • System Misused To Inflate Wages For Employees
  • A six-digit salary would normally be associated with MBAs, doctors or engineers. But some loaders at the state-run Food Corporation of India too earn that much.
  • It is a tale of abuse of government funds, inefficiency, and reluctance on the part of the authorities to act tough against vested interests.
  • Documents available show that so-called “labour gangs“ at FCI have flourished under a system where state funds are used to pay them whopping wages, including allowances.
  • In August 2014, 370 workers received more than Rs 4 lakh in wages, incentives, arrears and overtime allowance.
  • Another 386 workers received between Rs 2 lakh and 2.5 lakh in the same month.
  • More than 6,000 workers at the agency, responsible for procuring, storing and transporting foodgrains, received Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
  • Threats of strikes and stringent wage agreements have seen wages and allowances for loaders soar.
  • Acute shortage of workers has added to the problem of soaring wage bills at FCI.
  • This situation has been prevailing for more than 15 years.
  • It is nothing but wastage in the name of food subsidy.
  • Insiders at FCI and experts who have closely observed the functioning of the agency say the practice is well entrenched.
  • Often, well paid loaders hire workers -or what is known as 'proxy labour' -for Rs 7,000-8,000 to do their work.
  • Sources said the number of bags loaded or unloaded by workers is often inflated to enable them to take home a fat pay cheque.
  • Sometimes the number of bags loaded or unloaded is shown to be more than 500, way above the actual quantity to earn extra cash.
  • Telephone calls to the FCI chairman for comments went unanswered.
  • But union representatives alleged the menace of “proxy labour“ has flourished because of wrong policies, no recruitment and connivance of authorities.
  • They said they have written to the government several times to end the practice of proxy labour and employ more workers.
  • G S Jena, general secretary of FCI Workers Union, wrote in a letter to the labour minister:Due to the shortage of about 15,000 handling workers accumulated since 2003 and with the increasing demand of work, the local management has started an irregular system of deployment of outside labour for timely loading of rakes.
  • He added:Since their deployment is not recorded, their output is recorded in the name of regular workers, thus inflating their wages by putting very heavy amount of incentives,
  • PM Narendra Modi has now taken steps to revamp the state-run entity , save precious funds from being siphoned off in the name of subsidies and overhaul the entire system at FCI.
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