Around 40 percent government staff haven’t received their salaries yetVarious government offices fail to complete salary release procedures due to the pandemic.
The Rautahat District Treasury Comptroller’s Office has not released the salaries of provincial staffers based in the district for Shrawan (mid-July-mid-August).
Normally, it would release the salaries a week in advance so that money can be distributed to the staff at the end of the month.
“As provincial government offices have not submitted their financial details for the 2019-20 fiscal, which ended two months ago, and the payment orders seeking funds for the salaries, not a single penny has been released as salary as of Friday,” said Ishwori Prasad Dhakal, chief of District Treasury Comptroller Office, Rautahat.
For staffers at a government office to receive salaries, the office chief and chief accountant need to sign a payment order requesting the district treasury office to release funds. But, according to Dhakal, office chiefs and chief accountants in many offices haven’t gone to work due to restrictions imposed by the local administration to contain the spread of Covid-19. “As a result, provincial staffers haven’t received their pay for Shrawan,” he said.
District treasury offices fall under the jurisdiction of the Financial Comptroller General’s Office, which keeps track of the government’s income and expenditure. There are several provincial-level offices in Rautahat, including those related to irrigation, forest, agriculture and veterinary services.
It’s not just the provincial staffers in Rauthat who haven’t received their pay. Around 40 percent of government employees at both the federal and provincial levels across the country haven’t received the salary for Shrawan, according to the Financial Comptroller General’s Office.
“The district treasury offices have released funds for the salaries of only 60 percent of government employees so far,” said Deputy Financial Comptroller General Bhesh Prasad Bhurtel. Even Kathmandu-based district treasury offices have not released the salaries of all staffers.
“For example, the district treasury office in Singh Durbar has released the salaries of around 90 of the 100 offices under its ambit and the one in Teku has released the salaries of around 80 of the 87 offices it deals with,” said Bhurtel.
Usually, the district treasury offices start releasing funds for salaries weeks before the end of the month based on financial details submitted by the concerned government offices.
But, due to the coronavirus pandemic, local administration offices have enforced prohibitory orders in more than half of the 77 districts. “In order to prepare the payment order, the office chief and the chief accountant need to sign the document. But, the situation is that in some offices the chief can’t attend office while in others the chief accountant remains absent,” said Bhurtel.
In the case of Rautahat, provincial offices in the district are yet to submit their financial details for the last fiscal (2019-20). Submission of such details is a prerequisite for the disbursement of salaries in the new fiscal. Likewise, relevant offices should also issue payment orders based on the attendance data of the staffers.
Dhakal said that his office has, however, released the salaries of the army and police personnel and court staffers in the district. This district, along with other districts of Province 2, have been severely affected by Covid-19.
“District treasury offices of Dhanusa, Rautahat, Mahottari, Bara and Sarlahi have released the salaries for a limited number of provincial government staffers,” said Radheshyam Giri, provincial financial comptroller. “But, a relatively large number of provincial staffers have received salaries in Siraha, Parsa and Saptari.”