Indian Railways’ ghost employees reportedly cost the exchequer Rs 1.5 crore in 2016–17

The System will now validate employees before paying salary.

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Many instances of salary bills being raised for ‘ghost employees’ have become a matter of concern for the Railways, as it has cost the nation a huge monetary loss. To check this fraud, the Railways will now validate its workforce comprising 13 lakh people.

In March 2018, it was found that the Delhi division of the northern zone had been generating bills towards allowances for overtime, night duty and travel to employees who did not work for them. It is reported that this disbursement of payments to non-existent staff drained the exchequer of Rs 1.5 crore during 2016-17.

As a result, a need was felt to closely sift through the employee master data.

According to Financial Commissioner (Railway) A K Prasad, this validation exercise will certify the employees in the master list as bona fide workers, with valid appointment letters from competent authorities who have followed the standard hiring processes.

Instructions have been issued by the Railway Board to the zonal railways to undertake a validation exercise to match the master file of employees’ data with the service records for each one of them. This exercise is hoped to identify any fraud in the payroll system and unearth false claims, if any, in terms of travel allowance, dearness allowance, overtime allowance, night duty allowance, and arrears.

As part of this audit, the Railways has already identified 13,000 absentee staff this year.

Officials have been directed to carry out internal checks independently to ensure that there are no lacunae.

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