Look after parents or lose pay: Act eyes staff

An Act, with a provision for deducting 10% to 15% salary of Assam government employees failing to take care of their aged parents and physically-challenged unmarried siblings, now plans to bring private sector employees too under its purview.

The Pranam (Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring) Act — the first such in the country which made geriatric care compulsory for four lakh Assam government employees last year — is also eyeing central government employees working in the state.

The state government on Tuesday set up a commission which will hear complaints lodged by aged parents and ‘divyang’ siblings and take action as per the provision of the Act.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the bill will benefit eight lakh parents of four  lakh state government employees and that it was the state government’s endeavour to recognise the role of parents in children’s success. “Parents are a reflection of god and children must fulfil their duty by taking care of parents in their old age,” he said.

He said the employees of private organisations and the central government working in Assam will be covered in subsequent phases.

If the Pranam Commission finds a government employee guilty of neglecting parents/unmarried divyang siblings with no source of income, he/she will be held liable for 10% to 15% salary deduction every month, which will be transferred to the bank accounts of the complainants.

“We have ensured that no state government employee can ignore old parents and unmarried divyang siblings. The Pranam bill is an effort by the state government to protect old parents and physically-challenged siblings and give them financial security,” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.

The Pranam Commission comprises retired IAS officer V B Pyarelal as chief commissioner and former MLA Dr Alaka Desai Sarma and social worker Jugabala Buragohain as two commissioners.

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