Starting Monday, over 5,000 employees at the Kerala State Secretariat here will have to compulsorily record their biometric attendance when they come to office and repeat this when they leave in the evening. This is the third time the rule on biometric attendance is being implemented in the past one decade. On the two previous occasions, it failed to take off on account of the stiff opposition from various employees organisations. This time around again the employees had tried their best to wriggle out of the system, but the office of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stood firm and decided to go forward with its implementation. With the new system coming into force all the employees with the sole exception of the Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and the Chief Secretary would have to compulsorily punch there way in and out of offices.
The office timings at the Secretariat are 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Anyone who turns up after 10.15 a.m. for three consecutive days would lose a day’s leave. Besides the biometric was directly linked to the salary register, making it impossible for one to escape the exercise. “We will have to follow the rules as we are duty-bound to obey it, hence all will have to ensure that they do what is being asked, if not, at the end of the month, there will be deductions in our salary, which none will enjoy,” said a group of employees, hurrying to ensure that they punch in their entry. It remained to be seen whether the new rule persists, or gets aborted like it happened in the past when many of the punching machines went out of order after a while and were never replaced.