While the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to align the service conditions of all employees of the Union Territory (UT) of Chandigarh with the Central Civil Services, the decision has not gone down well with the Punjab government.
The reason is that Chandigarh is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. Punjab is seeing this as a bid to weaken its rights over Chandigarh and claims that the move violates the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966.
However, others see this move as beneficial to the employees of the Chandigarh administration. While earlier they received salary and allowances as per rules of the Punjab government, they will now receive salary as per the rules of the Central government, which works to the advantage of the employees. About 24,000 employees across all departments of the Chandigarh administration will stand to gain from this move.
In addition to the improved pay in accordance with the Central pay-scale, the retirement age of the employees of the UT will also go up from 58 to 60. Women employees may now avail of enhanced maternity leave of two years.
It has also been clarified that Central government rules will only be applicable to the employees of the UT alone and does not cover the employees who arrive on deputation from Punjab and Haryana and mainly belong to the education and health departments of the two states. While 60 per cent of the employees are on deputation from Punjab, 40 per cent are from Haryana.