Govt may double allowance for Extra Deptt staff

Rezaul Karim | Published: October 27, 2018 10:24:02 | Updated: November 04, 2018 21:35:06

The government is considering increasing the monthly allowance for the employees of 'Extra Department' under Postal Department by around 50 per cent, a finance ministry official said.

The finance minister is supposed to discuss the issue soon. A proposal in this regard has been sent to the finance division, he said, adding that the finance ministry is now working on the issue.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith recently said, "The proposal is now under consideration. We have to discuss the issue at the end of the current month."

When contacted, Sushanto Kumar Mondal, director general (DG) of Postal Department said, "We received a proposal from the extra department employees which has been sent to the finance ministry."

He, however, said the government earlier increased the monthly allowance for extra department employees to Tk 2,400/Tk 2,500 from Tk 1,200.

The extra department employees have proposed increasing their allowance to Tk 5,000 from existing Tk 2,500, a source concerned said.

The extra department post offices are located in the country's rural areas. The offices are operated by agents or people. But they are not regular employees of postal department, a senior official of the department told the FE.

The government is sincerely considering increasing the allowance for the Extra Department employees soon as they get minimum salary in the country. For this, they can't meet their family expenditure at expected level, he said.

The extra department staffers of postal department along with their families have been going through hard times due to low allowance as they get a negligible amount of allowance, some employees said.

Prices of essential items and other goods have increased several times. But the allowance for the extra department staff has not increased, they added.

The postal department has a staff of over 16,800 and extra department has over 23,521 employees.

There are 9,886 post offices in the country that render services to more than 120 million people.

Of the total, some 1,426 are department post offices and 8,460 are extra department post offices.

The government has recently slashed the services charge for the postal department's 'Electronic Money Transfer Service (EMTS) to 0.5 per cent from the previous rate of 1.85 per cent, a decrease by nearly 73 per cent.

The finance ministry has approved the proposal of the postal department to lower the money transfer fees, according to a circular issued on Tuesday.

The postal department runs the mobile money order service, known as 'Electronic Money Transfer Service (EMTS)' to send money from one post office to another.

The government earned Tk 13 million from money order-related transactions in fiscal year (FY) 2016-17.

It was Tk 282.30 million in FY 2012, a 95.4 per cent decline over five years, according to a document received by the FE.

The number of money orders was 4.88 million in FY 2012. The figure came down to 0.58 million in FY 2017, it showed.

In FY 2018, the department's total income stood at Tk 3.74 billion, a 24 per cent rise compared to the same period a year ago, a high official said.

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