PM Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the payment of a Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) for railway employees. The decision, which has been taken ahead of the Puja/Dussehra festival season, is aimed at improving productivity and efficiency of Indian Railways, says the government. As per the Ministry of Railways release, a PLB equivalent to 78 days’ wages will be given to the non-gazetted railway employees, excluding RPF and RSPF personnel. About 12.30 lakh non-gazetted railway employees are likely to benefit from the scheme. The payments to these employees will be given before the Dussehra/Puja. The release said this bonus will serve as an incentive and would result in motivating a large number of railway employees.
The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for the payment of PLB has been fixed at Rs 7,000 per month. For 78 days, an eligible employee will not get more than a maximum amount of Rs 17,951. As per the release, financial implication of payment of PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs 2,245.45 crore. “Indian Railways operates on the principle of maximum public welfare, and in this context, this bonus payment will help in improving accountability and efficiency in railways operations,” a press release by the Ministry said. The decision, according to the government, has been taken with an aim to improve their productivity and ensure safety, speed and service for Railway customers.
Addressing a press conference, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “The Cabinet has approved 78 days Productivity-Linked Bonus for non-gazetted rail employees for 2016-17.” The Finance Minister added that according to the existing formula the productivity-linked bonus was for 72 days. “Six years ago there was a tradition of giving 78 days bonus. So the Cabinet has approved the 78 days productivity-linked bonus,” the Finance Minister was quoted as saying by IANS.
The decision comes at a time when Indian Railways is grappling to deal with a slew of railway accidents. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani have both said that in the coming months safety would get paramount importance. From track replacement to maintenance and repair, Indian Railways is looking to get rid of age old infrastructure that is increasingly becoming a safety concern.