Minister-Kerala Electricity Board chairman cold war costs 343 staff promotion
The promotion of various KSEBL officers had been put on hold for quite some time by former chairman and managing director B Ashok.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The rift between Power Minister K Krishnankutty and Kerala State Electricity Board Limited chairman Rajan Khobragade has hit a nadir with the minister himself blocking the promotion of 343 officer-level employees. With a lack of communication happening between the duo, KSEB employees are at the receiving end.
The promotion of various KSEBL officers had been put on hold for quite some time by former chairman and managing director B Ashok. After his successor Khobragade assumed office, the latter held talks with various trade unions in KSEBL including the KSEB Officers’ Association. This led the full-time director board to take a decision on September 26 which saw the human resources management section initiating the promotion process.
A senior trade union representative told TNIE on condition of anonymity that the irony is that, while Krishnankutty keeps reiterating that the KSEBL is a company and there are limitations for the state government to intervene in the decisions of its board, has now frozen the promotion list.
“The reason cited by the minister is that the government should have been consulted first before the board takes a decision to promote 343 officer-level employees. The government wants the promotions to be frozen so that the restructuring of the board can be completed first,” said a trade union office-bearer.
These employees who are currently working as senior assistants and assistant engineers awaiting promotion as senior superintendents and assistant executive engineers, respectively, have been qualified for promotion for a decade. But due to lack of sufficient posts in KSEBL, their promotion has faced an inordinate delay.
However, they have already got a grade promotion making them earn a higher salary except that they are not getting the cadre payment. Hence, the financial impact is nil as KSEBL is already bearing the impact. Krishnankutty’s office confirmed to TNIE that it was the minister himself who wrote a letter to the CMD asking him to freeze the promotion.
Break-up of promotion list put on hold
Senior assistant to senior superintendent: 204
Assistant engineer to assistant executive engineer: 50
Sub engineer to assistant engineer (electrical diploma): 80
Sub engineer to assistant engineer (civil diploma): 4
Divisional accounts officer to assistant finance officer: 5