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Bill to protect govt employees� dependents passed

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 15 - Assam today became the first State in the country to enact a law which provides for accountability of employees of the State in taking care of their parents and divyang siblings.

According to the Assam Employees� Parent Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring (Assam Employees� PRANAM in short) Bill, which was passed in the Assembly today, if the designated authority finds that an employee is not looking after his or her parents or divyang siblings, it may issue directions to the drawing and disbursing officer concerned to pay up to 15 per cent of the person�s salary directly to the dependent every month.

�With emerging modern society, increased mobility and growth of nuclear families, instances of negligence of dependent parents by their children are being reported, rekindling the fact that family values need enforceable norms. The dependent parents of the employee are an inseparable part of such a family system and it is therefore felt expedient to provide for an enforceable morality through certain norms, to begin with among those employees who do neglect their dependent parents and divyang siblings so that each and every employee would lead as a role model in the society,� Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in the Assembly, making a statement of objects and reasons for the new law. Initially, government employees would come under the ambit of the new law. Sarma indicated it might be extended to employees of other PSUs, private organisations and elected representatives at a later stage.

�I�m not saying the employees do not give (anything to their parents). But we should be role models. We�re not forcing anything, but appealing to the employees so that they give more than what is said in the Act,� Sarma said. Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami described the Act as �most progressive.�

According to the Act, any deprived dependent parent or divyang sibling can write to the designated authority seeking financial support from the employee.

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