West Bengal: TMC government enhanced special allowance of IAS officers

News Desk: The Mamata Banerjee government on Monday enhanced special allowance of IAS officers at various levels leaving many WBCS officers disappointed as they claimed it would create a rift among the officers working in the districts.

According to a notification issued by the department of personnel and administrative reforms on Monday, IAS officers posted as subdivisional officers would get a special allowance of Rs 2,000 a month. Officers posted as the additional district magistrates would get Rs 2,500 and officers posted as the district magistrates Rs 3,000 every month as additional allowance.

Besides, IAS officers posted as directors or commissioners would also get a sum of Rs 3,000 as additional allowance. IAS officers in the rank of secretary, additional chief secretary and the chief secretary would get additional allowance of Rs 4,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000 a month, respectively.

Till now, all officers — be it from the IAS or WBCS cadres — posted as DMs used to receive an additional allowance of Rs 1,500 a month and all other officers an additional allowance of Rs 1,000 a month.

“Now, it can be said that the government has given a considerable benefit to the 300-odd IAS officers in the state. It would have been appropriate if the state government gave the same benefit to 1,500 WBCS officers as they also work hard” said a bureaucrat.

The official explained why the WBCS officers were agitated over the issue.

“As the government enhanced the allowance for the IAS officers, the WBCS officers are feeling deprived” explained the official.

Another official said the difference in money could create trouble in carrying out the development and welfare schemes in districts as both WBCS and IAS officers work as SDOs, ADMs and DMs.

“These are the officers who carry out the schemes at the grassroots level. If they WBCS officers feel left out, it would not benefit the administration at all” said a source.

“Already WBCS officers get less salary compared to the IAS officers… IAS officers get higher dearness allowance. This particular decision would widen the gap. The WBCS officers may feel deprived, which is not desirable” said another official.

Some government officials said the government had already given some benefits to WBCS officers at the senior level (joint secretary onwards) via two additional increments.

But a WBCS officer pointed out the benefit did not reach to  state civil service officers  in the districts (in posts of SDOs, ADMs and DMs).

“It is not only about a financial benefit but also self-respect” said a visibly annoyed WBCS officer.