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Thursday, April 8, 2010

'Fake' allowance hike order fools central govt employees

Was it an April Fool prank or a case of an adventurous babu arbitrarily announcing increase in overtime allowances to please colleagues in central government offices?

The case in question is that of a “fake” order being circulated in these offices on increasing allowances on the basis of a circular issued by the finance ministry on April 1 last.

Although a high-level inquiry has been ordered by the finance ministry and the department of personnel and training (DoPT), no clue has yet been found on who was behind the mischief. The office memorandum number 1(4)/2010E-II dated 27/3/2010 was issued by the finance ministry with the signature of under secretary S Rajan Chandranaydu.

“The case is being probed by senior officials. But nothing as yet has been found,” a DoPT official said. “The possibility of it being an April Fool prank is also being looked into. But even in such a case, the guilty could face the music,” he said.

The official clarified that it had nothing to do with DoPT, which is the nodal department on such issues. “It pertains to the finance ministry and they are probing it,” he said.

The issue came to the notice of DoPT after enthusiastic central government officials started seeking details of the hiked overtime allowances, such as the date from which they would become operative. Acting swiftly, DoPT got in touch with the finance ministry, only to discover that the order was fake.

To set the record straight, DoPT issued a fresh office memorandum to clear doubts about the veracity of the order. “It is clarified that no such instruction has been issued by either DoPT or the finance ministry. The ministries and departments are advised not to take cognisance of the fake instructions being circulated in central government offices,” the office memorandum signed by DoPT director Simmi R Nakra said.