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Mamata Abolishes Cap on Buying Property for Govt Employees

As per earlier rule under West Bengal Services (ROPA) Rules, 2009, the cost ceiling limit of construction/acquisition of house/flat was Rs 30 Lakh, including all sources.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:November 16, 2017, 8:34 PM IST
Mamata Abolishes Cap on Buying Property for Govt Employees
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)

Kolkata: Ahead of Panchayat Polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has abolished the cap for the construction/acquisition of house or flat as a New Year gift for the state government employees.

The letter issued on November 14, 2017 (Memo No: 1112/2 (300)-FB) signed by Finance Department’s Joint Secretary Ujjaini Datta reads, “The issue of revision of the cost ceiling limit for construction/acquisition of house/flat has been under active consideration of the state government. After careful consideration of the matter, the Governor is now pleased to decide to abolish the upper-cost ceiling limit with immediate effect.”

As per earlier rule under West Bengal Services (ROPA) Rules, 2009, the cost ceiling limit of construction/acquisition of house/flat was Rs 30 Lakh, including all sources. But the amendment abolishing the limit came as a relief for the state government employees as there is no restriction now.

“The rule is applicable to all state government employees from Group D to bureaucrats. Now, they can buy flats or house of their choice as there is no limit now,” a senior finance department official told News18.

When told that this could lead to corruption at a mass level as it will be easier for a section of government employees to park their ill-gotten money in real estate, he said, “It is true, but I am sure that the investigation agencies will keep a close watch on these people.”

State BJP termed the move as appeasement politics ahead of Panchayat and Assembly Polls because government employees are angry with Mamata over pending arrears and Dearness Allowance (DA) gap between Central and state government employees. Though Mamata promised to fill the DA gap by 2019, BJP claimed that it's just poll promise and nothing to do with the reality.

“Such initiatives are government’s strategy to woo the voters. But such move is not going to help the TMC government as people have decided to oust Mamata government,” BJP’s Sayantan Basu said.

Recently, in September, Mamata announced several new schemes for the state government employees including foreign travel facility mainly to South East Asian countries. Then, she also announced a new pay commission, increase in DA and special remuneration for those who will attend office on the bandh day.

“Under the Leave Travel Concession (LTC), they can now travel to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka once in a decade,” Mamata had said, addressing a convention of the Trinamool Congress-backed State Government Employees Federation.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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