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Fiat for timely attendance

The state government has issued a circular asking its employees to report for work by 10.30 every morning and stay put till at least 5pm, reiterating Mamata Banerjee’s pledge to improve work culture at government offices.

The circular, issued by the personnel and administrative reforms department, will come into effect on January 1. From that day, the attendance registers would be sent to the departmental secretaries from respective joint secretaries after 10.30am.

“It means those coming after the scheduled time will not get the opportunity to sign the attendance register,” said an official.

Attendance registers are now kept with joint secretaries and employees at Writers’ sign them at the time of arrival or departure.

It’s common knowledge at the state secretariat that most employees come to office or leave according to their convenience but enter a false time while signing the register.

“The decision to send the registers to the departmental secretaries has been taken to stop the trend of coming in late or leaving early,” said an official in the personnel and administrative reforms department.

“As the registers are not going to be taken back to the joint secretaries before 5pm, according to the new circular, no one can leave the premises by putting a false time in the register.”

Mamata has been trying to ensure timely arrival and departure of the employees since taking over as chief minister last May.

Attendance and punctuality had improved significantly in the first six months of the Trinamul reign with the chief minister paying surprise visits to various departments.

A biometric system has been installed at Swastha Bhavan in Salt Lake, which houses the health and family welfare department, to ensure timely attendance. But the improvement did not last long as Mamata stopped inspecting departments.

“The effectiveness of the new measure will depend on whether the government is introducing penal provisions for late arrival and early departure,” said an official.

Theft

A Howrah resident has complained that his bag containing Rs 55,000 was stolen from a ceremony house on Ashutosh Mukherjee Road on Wednesday. Police said the complainant, Vivek Maheswari, had come to the ceremony house to attend a programme.