Work goes for a sabbatical
Patna, Dec. 26: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar may be working for 16 to 18 hours a day to start sushashan (good governance), but his government employees had a field day in 2007, mostly at home.
Calculation of the number of leaves in the official calendar shows that the government employees, minus teachers, had availed an estimated 141 days as holidays in 2007.
To be more precise, the employees worked for 1,904 (224 days by 8.5 hours) hours during the year. And from that if one takes out 224 hours for lunch (one hour for each working day), the effective working hours come to 1,680.
A government employees working hour is between 9.30 am and 6pm. around the year.
And to put all the data in place there was very little time left for an elected government to fulfil its pre-election promises within an year.
Usually, a government employee can avail up to 33 days of earned leaves, 12 casual ones and unspecified number of medical leaves in a year.
An employee can also take a maximum of 180 days of paid medicals during his or her entire service.
Additional director of the public relations department Shiv Kapur Sinha, while talking to The Telegraph, conceded that there were a number of holidays for the workers. And theres more.
The state government effected a five-day week from January 1, 2007, on the pattern of central government, he said.
Though there have been murmurs of the government re-thinking on including Saturdays as working days all over again, there have been no notification in place.
This year there were 51 Saturdays and as many Sundays making it 102 days of assured holidays. Besides, there were 27 holidays, four of which fell either on Saturdays and Sundays. Also, according to Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881, there were 18 holidays more, five of which fell on Saturdays or Sundays. An employee also availed three of 20 restricted or voluntary holidays during the year.
Chief ministers office sources said that five-day week had not been working well for governance.
It is not that all the officials are rejoicing. At times when there is a holidays on Thursday and Friday, the government is left with three-day week, too little time to dispose of loads of work, said an official.
An official of the personnel department added that a meeting might be called early next year to discuss the leave plan.
But, as of now, there are no words on retaining or curtailing holidays for employees.
P.K. Ram, an employee with the irrigation department, said: We have no problem with working on Saturdays. Working is more a matter of right attitude than hours. Some people do not work for a whole year and just while away time counting their allowances.