This year, the 9 lakh-strong workforce of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and 34,000-strong workforce of Brihan Mumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) received the highest Diwali bonus ever.
The Maharashtra government had approved upto Rs 20,000 as bonus for them against the Rs 9,000 that was given to them last year.
The total amount spent on this bonus is about Rs 62 crore.
Earlier, the unions of BEST had threatened to go on a protest if the bonus wasn’t paid to them on time. However, on being assured by the Maharashtra government of the bonus, no protest happened.
While officials and officers of BMC and BEST received a bonus of Rs 20,000 each, the teachers and other staff in secondary schools received Rs 10,000 each. Rs 5,300 each was paid to the health workers.
Given the fact that the staff of BEST worked relentlessly during the pandemic, ferrying frontline workers to work and back, the bonus was a well deserved one.
Last year, the BMC staff received Rs 15,500 as bonus, while BEST staff received Rs 9,000 each.
Not long ago, a hike in dearness allowance (DA) was also announced for the staff of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC). Their DA was increased from 12 per cent to 17 per cent. The hike benefited about 95,000 employees. Following the rising fuel prices, MSRTC has had to hike ticket prices by Rs 5 to prevent losses.