(Representational Image)
(Representational Image)

Almost 11.58 lakh non-gazetted employees of the Indian Railways have been granted the bonus equivalent of 78 days wages, the Ministry of Railways announced on Thursday. The amount comes down to a staggering Rs. 2,081.68 crore.

According to a release by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the Union Cabinet on Wednesday (October 21) had accepted the Ministry of Railways’ proposal to pay the Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages in the financial year 2019-20 for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel).

“The financial implication of payment of 78 days’ PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs. 2081.68 crores. The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB to the eligible non-gazetted railway employees is Rs.7000/- p.m. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs.17,951 for 78 days. About 11.58 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees are likely to benefit from the decision,” the release stated.

The Productivity Linked Bonus on Railway covers all non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) who are spread over the entire country. Payment of PLB to eligible railway employees is made each year before the Dusshera/ Puja holidays.

“The decision of the Cabinet shall be implemented before the holidays for this year as well,” the release stated, “For the year 2019-20 PLB equivalent to 78 days’ wages will be paid which is expected to motivate the employees for working towards improving the performance of the Railways.” It may be noted that though this payment is being made for last year’s performance i.e. 2019-20.

Railways employees have been putting in a lot of hard work during the COVID-19 period this year. Work had to go into the movement of Shramik Specials, for movement of essential commodities including foodgrains, fertilisers, coal etc. and for the completion of more than 200 vital maintenance projects during the lockdown period. Even on the freight side, there have been major improvements post-COVID lockdown period. Freight speeds have almost doubled now as compared to that of last year. Freight loading has also increased by 14% for the period of October 2020 as compared to a similar period last year, according to the PIB release. “The payment of the PLB for 2019-20 is expected to motivate the employees for working towards improving the performance of the Railways further. The acknowledgement of their work will enhance the sense of inclusiveness and belongingness in Railway families. It is expected to enhance the productivity levels further,” the release concluded.

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