The Bengal government yesterday raised its employees’ Puja bonus by Rs 100 and salary advance by Rs 500, prompting a buzz at Writers’ that the move was a “gift” from Mamata Banerjee after her party’s panchayat election success.
Finance minister Amit Mitra, who announced the decision, added that the ex-gratia for retired state employees would be raised from Rs 900 to Rs 1,000.
Sources said the move would benefit around 3 lakh government employees and those working in government undertakings.
“We are happy we could raise the pre-Id and Puja bonus and salary advance despite several constraints. We hope this will be helpful for the employees,” Mitra said at Writers’.
The decision, according to senior finance department officials, means those who draw salaries up to Rs 22,000 a month would get a bonus of Rs 2,600 each. The amount was Rs 2,500 last year.
Employees with monthly remunerations between Rs 22,000 and Rs 30,000 will get a salary advance of Rs 2,500, as against Rs 2,000 last year.
The finance department officials said those employees who retired on a salary scale of up to Rs 22,000 a month would get an ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 each.
“I can’t recall an instance when the state government announced Puja bonus so early. Usually, the bonus is announced 15 to 20 days before the Pujas. The chief minister appears to be in a good mood and that’s why she has given us this gift,” an official said.