The much hyped digitization leap of Assam government fell with a thud when it comes to releasing the salaries of the employees.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma presented digital budget on March 12 with live streaming. The Finance Department launched its twitter handle Finance Dept, Govt of Assam @AssamFinDept with a lot of hype. But, when it comes to clearing salaries of the government employees, Assam government showed its traditional laid back traditions.
Just a day before the Uruka, the Assam government employees got their salaries on Thursday.
Before the budget, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma with his bumptious style announced to present digital budget in the Assembly.
Digital budget, live streaming, twitter handle — all these were the buzzwords then. Seemingly digitization took a leap in Assam. But all these appeared to be a damp squib due to the delay in releasing the salaries. Even the finance department’s twitter handle shows the last tweet was on March 17, and last retweet was on March 28. One of the retweets was on Advantage Assam.
Shyam Jagannathan, Commissioner and Secretary of Finance department, claimed there was no unusual delay in clearing salaries. “The process of release of salaries started from April 10, and I don’t see any reasons to describe it to be a delay,” he said.
Samir Kumar Sinha, Principal Secretary Finance also said there has been no delay in clearing the salaries. “The assembly got over on April 4, and Finance Minister granted the approval on April 6,” he said, adding that the process of release of payments of salaries started immediately.
Generally, salaries for the month of March are paid from the new budget, Sinha said, adding that it is generraly slightly late every year.
However, employees of most of the department claimed they got salaries on Thursday. “What is whole point in creating so much hype over digital budget if we don’t get our salaries on time?” one government employee said in Nagaon.
“We had a lot of expectations this time that we would get the salaries for the month of March in quick digital pace. What is the whole point in making so much of hullabaloo over digital budget if salaries are released on bullock cart’s pace?”