The finances of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) seem to be impacting the post retirement benefits of employees for over six years. The dues are mounting as a result of the Corporation’s “written policy” that allows clearing only Rs. 50 lakh every month due to paucity of funds.

Fund crunch

The VMC has been facing fund crunch for many years now. The dues were Rs. 8 crore in April 2012 which now stood at Rs. 17.44 crore as 311 employees are waiting for pension and gratuity include those who opted for commutation of pension in 2012. It touched 450 by 2014 when the new Council was formed.

The VMC is clearing the dues on seniority basis. The number of retired employees waiting for their turn stands at 180, sources say.

The VMC has to pay Rs. 6,79,74,579 towards the gratuity of 146 employees. The pension arrears of 133 employees stand at Rs. 1,71,93,555.

Likewise, 58 employees have to receive Rs. 3,80,21,661 towards commutation and 145 have to get Rs. 5,12,88,972 towards their earned leave.

Administrative sanction

The retired employees, who got administrative sanction for the commuted portion of pension, are yet to receive it. The pensioners are aggrieved that the VMC is recovering commutation from their pensions though it did not pay them.

Left high and dry, the employees complain that the very purpose of the facility (commutation of pension) has been defeated.

“The officials argue non-payment of commutation has no bearing on the recovery. How is it justified?” asks an employee, who does not want to be quoted.

The officials, however, say they noticed the lapses and are taking steps regarding the recovery. But they are helpless regarding delay in payment.

“We have noticed the anomaly. Instructions were issued to stop recovery in case of non-payment of commutation,” says a senior official.

Mayor Koneru Sridhar agreed that the VMC had to clear the dues. The VMC was leaving no stone unturned to make payments in time. The budget for clearing dues would be increased from next month.

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