Finance Dept trips Lokayukta staff

The department cuts special incentive allowance to them

Despite Chief Minister Yeddyurappa’s public assurance to sanction 30 per cent of the pay scale as the special incentive allowance, officers in the Finance Department altered the figure to 25 per cent of the pay scale in 1999.

Apparently, according to sources in the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), a bureaucrat in the Finance Department has made it a prestige issue to block the proposal.

While the Lokayukta wanted the incentive pay on the ground the officers handled extra work load, the Department of Personnel Administrative Reforms, the Finance Department argued that 30 per cent of the present pay scale as special incentive allowance would be excessive.

 “At any given point of time, each of our inspector handles nearly five to six cases of disproportionate asset cases. They also have to work on trap cases,” a senior officer in Lokayukta said.

“We are not asking for alms. When Justice Hegde decided to quit as Lokayukta, the Chief Minister assured him of sanctioning the demanded incentive along with power to take suo motu action. Although they have conferred suo motu power, we cannot take any action against the politicians. And now, they are playing with the incentive. They have insulted the institution,” the officer fumed.

Anti-corruption personnel in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh get 30 per cent of their pay scale as special incentive allowance. Earlier, the Lokayukta police personnel were offered 15 per cent of the pay scale as special incentive allowance, which was rejected by Justice Hegde. Then it was fixed at 25 per cent of the present pay scale, costing the government R 20 lakh a year.

Also Lokayukta competes for the same pool of man power that CBI and NIA recruit from. CBI offers 25 percent of the gross pay in addition to giving them step-up in terms of posting. It further offers benefits like subsidized housing and transport allowance, as also a sizeable Central Deputation Allowance.

“The government has sanctioned 30 more posts for the inspectors in Lokayukta, but because of such discrimination we find it tough to bring in good officers into our investigating squad. Six inspectors we had selected for our squad have opted for CBI deputation,” the officer said.

When contacted, Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde said, “If it is true, this is a sorry state of affair. I will take up the matter with the Chief Minister again.”   

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