The central government’s decision to pay its 42 lakh Group C and D employees Rs 10,000 each in cash has one shocking fallout: a whopping 1.66 lakh ATMs, 82 per cent of India’s total cash machines, could have used that money to ease the serpentine queues before them.
As November ended and salaries were supposed to be paid, the government decided to pay its Group C and D staff Rs 10,000 in cash to ease pressure on the banks, already reeling for more than three weeks after demonetisation was announced on November 8.
Pay Commission figures say Group C and D employees constitute nearly 89 per cent of the 47 lakh government employees. If each is paid Rs 10,000, the total payment in cash sucked out of the system comes to over Rs 4170 crores.
Now, India has 2,02,801 ATMs, according to the government data. That means the amount of money that central government employees get sitting in the comfort of their homes could have easily fed 1.66 lakh ATMs, which in turn could have benefited over 1.6 crore people (assuming the Rs 2,500 withdrawal limit per day).
And that’s not all. A number of state governments, including Delhi, Telangana, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, and West Bengal, have announced moves to pay a part of the salary to Group C and D employees in cash, which means more dry ATMs.
Bottomline: government employees get preferential treatment while private sector employees suffer, only because the government is calling the shots amid a massive cash crunch.