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Ineligible Endowment Staff Enjoying GPF

Temple staff promoted to endowments dept have 200 GPF accounts

Published: 06th May 2016 05:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2016 05:14 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: In a practice which could burden the state treasury, temple officials promoted to the endowments department are being provided with General Provident Fund (GPF) account, though they are not eligible for it. Though a senior official wrote to the accountant-general's office on the irregularities taking place on this issue, no action has been taken yet. According to the changed GPF rules, government employees recruited after 2004 are not eligible for GPF benefits.

Also, according to state government's rules, temple employees (those working in temples after being recruited by the respective temple managements but not by the government) are different from employees of the endowments department. But there is a practice of some temple employees being promoted into the endowments department. From the moment they are taken into the department, they are considered to be government employees. But this rule, introduced to provide job security to long-serving temple employees, is being exploited by many in connivance with higher officials.

"Many employees, who have been promoted into the endowments department after 2004, are showing their service in temples before  2004 as government service and claiming GPF amount for the period right from the time they joined a temple. First of all, they are not eligible for GPF itself but presenting the period they served as private employees in a temple as government service and claiming GPF puts additional burden on the treasury.

There were thousands who resorted to this practice in  united AP and it is being continued even now," said the senior official of the endowments department who wrote to the AG of Telangana not to open GPF accounts for such employees.

According to officials, more than 200 GPF accounts have been opened in this manner in the past one year and in spite of writing a letter to AG, the practice is going unhindered.

When contacted, endowments department vigilance officer Srinivasa Rao declined to comment, saying that some temple employees  approached the court in this regard and a decision was pending.

State Govt Turns to God for Good Rain

Hyderabad: Endowments minister A Indra Karan Reddy has directed his department  officials to perform Varuna Japam and  Yagams in all important temples in the state to appease rain god for good rains this season. At a five-hour review meeting here on Thursday, the minister said that though it was predicted that there would be good rains this year, the temple authorities should perform Varuna Japam and Yagam at all important temples for timely rains, the minister said. Already, the state was facing acute shortage of drinking and irrigation water and at some places the crops dried up for want of water, he said.  The minister also directed the officials to launch online sevas for all important temples in the state. Recalling the recent fire accident near a temple in Kerala, the minister wanted the officials to ensure that no crackers are burnt near temples. He directed the officials to set up CCTV cameras and metal detectors at all temples. The meeting has taken several other decisions including introduction of bio-metric system for the staff. Digitisation of all information of endowments department would be taken up. Geographical information system (GIS) will be used to protect temple lands. The minister assured that the he would take a decision increasing the salaries of archakas in small temples after consulting with the chief minister. He also directed the officials to prepare plans to extend financial assistance to the wards of Archakas to purse higher education. Archakas of small temples will be provided with double bedroom houses. State government advisor KV Ramanachary who attended the meeting felt the need to minimise political interference in the management of temples.



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