The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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2005 civic target for staff send-off scheme

An early retirement scheme for “redundant civic employees” will be put in place within the next two years.

The target will be to bring down the civic employee and rate-payer ratio to 1:10, from the present 1:5. In the context of the city’s population, there is one Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) employee for every 100 Calcuttans.

The civic body has over 43,000 employees on its monthly pay-roll and spends Rs 320 crore towards their pay-packets every year, according to mayor Subrata Mukherjee.

A benchmark study to determine the CMC’s workforce requirement, as proposed by the civic trade union leaders during their interaction with the consultants to the scheme, the British Department For International Development (DFID), will start soon, the mayor added.

The consultant has calculated that to launch the early retirement scheme (ERS), the CMC will require a corpus of Rs 7.2 crore for the pay-off package, in the form of gratuitous payments and a social-safety mechanism. “The DFID has agreed to allot more funds to implement the early retirement scheme in the near future,” Mukherjee disclosed.

The CMC is getting Rs 212.25 crore by way of technical and financial support from the DFID for a capacity-building programme over the next six years.

“The programme will be carried out on the basis of suggestions put forward by a DFID-appointed consultant,” the mayor said. The consultant, Infrastructure Professionals Enterprise, has prepared a draft report on programme management and implementation of the capacity-building programme for the CMC, in association with WSP-IMC, UK. The report was handed over to Mukherjee on Wednesday.

Of the total expenditure proposal — Rs 8.51 crore for the ERS — Rs 92.03 lakh will be spent to conduct the benchmark study of CMC employees.

Another head of Rs 39.15 lakh has been earmarked for designing an early retirement package for the staff of defunct departments.

Over the past four months, ending February, the consultants held more than 150 interactions with various stakeholders through workshops and personal meetings, before preparing the draft report.

The consultants convened a workshop at the Oberoi Grand on January 11, which was attended by the trade union leaders of the CMC. The union leaders fear a drastic reduction in workforce if the schemes for voluntary and early retirement are implemented.

It was decided after much deliberation that a benchmark study would be carried out first to determine the civic body’s actual workforce requirement.

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