SC shocked over FCI loader getting Rs 4.5L monthly wages

SC shocked over FCI loader getting Rs 4.5L monthly wages

The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its shock over revelation that a whopping Rs 4.5 lakh monthly wages was paid to a loader in the Food Corporation of India, making it suffer Rs 18,000 crore loss annually.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice T S Thakur asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to spell out by next Friday its steps to stop the malpractices as pointed out by a report of a high-level committee headed by BJP leader and former Union minister Shanta Kumar.

“If you don't listen to response of the high-level committee, we will appoint our own committee, comprising retired SC judges to fix responsibilities. We can’t countenance a situation where loss is caused to the FCI which itself is facing problems in storage capacity, resulting into foodgrain rotting in open and rodents eating it away,” the bench told Kumar.

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, questioned as to how a loader was paid Rs 4.5 lakh per month wages, which was more than the salary of the President of India. “The report shows that in August 2014, 370 labourers received more than Rs 4 lakh. Around 400 others got between Rs 2 lakh and 2.5 lakh in the same month. Can a labourer earn Rs 4.5 lakh? How is that possible? This is resulting into a loss of Rs 18,000 crore to the public exchequer,” the bench said.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by the FCI Workers Union against the Bombay High Court’s direction of November 20 to the Centre to stop the practice of loaders employing proxy labourers, allowing them to earn huge wages.

The court was not impressed with the FCI plea and added there were various incentives that allowed departmental workers to earn around Rs 1.1 lakh a month. It did not see any merit in the claim of senior advocate Amit Sibal, appearing for workers union, that the high court should not have taken a suo motu cognisance of a media report. Noting that labourers in the FCI had very aggressive tendencies and officers have been murdered in the past, the court asked the government to decide if it was time to abolish the departmental labour system in a phased manner or absorb their services in other establishments as recommended by the panel.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)