Calcutta, Feb. 4: The government has proposed to do away with the post of confidential assistants to ministers and replace them with executive assistants.
Sources said the decision was taken to reduce the expenditure of the government by slashing the perks of those in the new post.
The government’s decision will be discussed at length in a meeting of the council of ministers on Tuesday, where it is likely to get the chief minister’s approval.
Although the executive assistants (EA) would get a salary of Rs 18,000 a month — about Rs 10,000 more than that of the confidential assistants (CA) — they will be entitled to only a telephone connection each. The EAs will not get pension.
The CAs were entitled to perks such as telephone connections, two gas cylinders a month, travel and medical allowances and a monthly pension of around Rs 12,000.
Every minister or minister of state will be entitled to an EA each.
The CAs used to draw up the daily schedule of ministers and accompanied them on trips. “Work for the EAs will remain the same,” a Writers’ source said.
“This is the first time the government is expected to take a decision that tries to tackle the financial condition,” a government employee said.
The pensions of the CAs, however, will continue for the time being as a case in this regard is pending in high court.
“The pension of at least 17 former CAs were stopped arbitrarily after Trinamul came to power. A case has been filed in this regard. So, the government will have to continue providing us pension till the matter is resolved,” a CA to a former Left Front minister said.