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Railway minister promises 78-day bonus to staff

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The on Tuesday assured 78 days’ productivity-linked bonus (PLB) to its employees in the grade pay ranging from Rs 1,800 to Rs 4,600, thus entailing an additional burden of Rs 600-700 crore on the finances of the public-sector employer.

The promise came from railway minister in a meeting here with federations of the ministry, sources said.

PLB is linked to NTKM (net tonne km traffic) earning divided by the number of employees.Though there has been a 83.37 per cent increase in passenger traffic and 74.95 per cent increase in goods traffic in terms of kilometres covered between 2000-2001 and 2008-2009, staff strength has been reduced by 10.29 per cent.

The PLB paid to approximately 13 lakh employees will amount to Rs 8,975 per employee. According to the Bonus Act, the maximum bonus allowed to the employee for 30 days is Rs 3,500. Actually, the federations had demanded 80 days’ bonus and had asked for PLB to the employees equal to their per day salary earning.

The railways has responded to this saying any enhancement in the bonus limit can happen only by an amendment in the Bonus Act.

According to a Federation official, the minister, at the meeting, was “very positive” towards most of the employees’ demands. “Moreover, he assured implementation of the welfare schemes announced in the Railway Budget.”

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