Union govt puts Chandigarh govt employees under central service rules instead of Punjab
30 March, 2022: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs passed a notification changing the conditions of services of govt employees under the administrative control of the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Till now they were governed by the Punjab civil service rules, but from April 1, 2022 they will come under the purview of Central civil service rules. This includes employees of Group A, B, C and D but does not include around 20,000 contractual and outsourced govt employees.
West Bengal: Govt strips insurance for frontline healthcare workers who get infected with Covid-19
24 March, 2022: The West Bengal government has decided to discontinue the financial assistance scheme under the Covid-19 insurance policy for healthcare workers who got infected and recovered from the virus after 31 October, 2021. Thereby excluding those who were on the frontline during the third wave of Covid-19. This scheme, which began in June, 2020, entitled healthcare workers to an insurance amount of Rs. 1 lakh in cases of infection, and Rs. 10 lakhs in cases of death.
Andhra Pradesh: Govt raises salaries of specialist doctors, civil and dental assistant surgeons serving in tribal areas
21 March, 2022: The Andhra Pradesh government issued an order enhancing the salaries of specialist healthcare workers working in AP Vaidya Vidhana Parishad hospitals located in tribal areas of the state. The order raises the salary of specialist doctors by 50 percent, and of civil and dental surgeons by 30 percent with effect from March, 1st 2022. The health department issued another order extending the medical reimbursement scheme for employees and pensioners for another year, though it ruled out any further extensions.
Union Cabinet rejects proposal to hike honorariums of Mid-day meal workers, pushes back revision to 2025
16 March, 2022: The Union Cabinet has rejected the Education Ministry’s proposals in March, 2019 and September 2021 to increase the Centre’s contribution to the honorarium of Mid-day meal (MDM) workers to Rs. 2000 and Rs. 3000 per month respectively. Presently MDM cook-cum-helpers get Rs. 1000 per month from the Central govt, which hasn’t been revised since 2010. Moreover, the Cabinet has accepted a proposal which pushes back the revision of the amount to 2025.
Tripura: Government hikes daily minimum wage of tea garden workers by Rs. 31
15 March, 2022: The Tripura government announced a hike in the minimum wage of tea garden workers from Rs. 105 to Rs. 136 per day effective from April, 2022. This is still much lower than the minimum wage for tea plantation workers in neighbouring Assam and West Bengal. The government had recently announced a new scheme for tea workers’ welfare the ‘Mukhyamantri Cha Shramik Kalyan Prakalp’ aiming to free plantation owners from all statutory welfare measures as per the Plantation Labour Act, 1951.
EPFO slashes Provident Fund interest rate from 8.5% to 4-decade-low 8.1% amidst surging inflation
12 March, 2022: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has further slashed the interest rate on workers’ Provident Fund savings from 8.5% in 2020-21 to 8.1% for 2021-22, at a time when inflation is rising rapidly. The interest had remained at 8.5% since 2019-20 when it was cut from 8.65% in 2018-19. Important thing to note is that this is the lowest interest rate on EPF savings since 1977-78 when it was 8%, which was the highest rate since its inception in 1952.
Ministry of Environment proposes draft to overhaul environmental regulatory system for building and construction work
03 March, 2022: The Union Ministry of Environment has issued draft Building Construction Environment Management Regulations, 2022 seeking to exempt building construction work from the environmental appraisal process. The draft regulations aim to dilute environmental standards and compliance in order to increase the “ease of doing business”.