A welfare State is expected to take special interest in the welfare of the people and particularly of the Government employees who dedicate their entire life to the service of the State. The State does not ignore the responsibility it owes to them. Grant of pension and pension benefits is also among the largesse that a Government extends to its superannuated employees. Going further, the Government also takes into account the welfare of the family of an employee who dies in harness. The widowed wife is given family pension and adjoining benefits like dearness allowance etc. so that she does not suffer privation after the demise of her spouse.
The Government also takes into consideration the possibility of extending support to the family of a Government servant who dies accidental death while in harness or gets killed while performing active duty. Such cases are governed by SRO – 43. This rule says that the family of a Government employee who dies in harness will be supported by providing employment to one of the wards of the deceased employee. This is a very humane rule and indicates that in a welfare State Government does not want the family of an employee to suffer hardships of poverty and deprivation once the bread earner is no more to feed them.
However, it is observed that the process of letting the beneficiary of SRO-43 derive the sanctioned benefits is very complicated and rather forbidding. A number of obstructions emerge when the authorities concerned want to make the genuine member of the family of a deceased Government employee become claimant to Government job. This is borne by the fact that though 1110 cases have been settled under SRO-43 during the past two years, 800 cases are still pending in various Administrative Departments. This is a large number and speaks for itself that there is lack of efficient and expeditious disposal of cases under SRO-43. 800 pending cases is a large number and why these are not settled is what worries the affected families. It has to be noted that the Governor, during his tenure as the Chief Executive while the popular Government was still in making, had issued orders directing the concerned departments to expedite appointment of cleared cases under SRO-43. It is regrettable that these cases are still hanging fire and no cognizance is taken of the instructions of the Governor. The more depressing is that the Coalition Government of PDP-BJP, too, has not taken any definite step to ensure that a kith of the deceased Government employee is provided a job in any department. The seniors who are at the helm of affairs and are supposed to see to the implementation of SRO-43 in letter and spirit are sleeping over the files allowing no fewer than 800 bereaved families to go through indefinite wait.
This matter is looked after by the General Administration Department and the Chief Minister holds the charge of that department. The statement about 800 pending cases was given by the CM on the floor of the Lower House saying that the matter of verification of these cases was under process. Yes, it should go through the prescribed process but how much time will that process take. We believe that inordinate delay in providing jobs to the entitled family member is either politicized or is held back owing to corrupt practices that are rampant in the administrative structure. In any case, the Chief Minister would do well to ask for the present status of these cases and issue instructions to the concerned for expeditious settlement of all the pending cases.