Assam to downsize agri marketing board; offers VRS to staff

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Guwahati, Jul 10 (PTI) The Assam government on Wednesday decided to offer VRS to 612 employees of its ailing agricultural marketing board, while giving a one-time settlement to 147 contingency and fixed pay staff.

The decision to drastically downsize the Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board (ASAMB) was taken during a Cabinet meeting this evening, a communique shared by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on X stated.

"To rationalise manpower utilisation in government service sector, the Cabinet has accorded approval to a financial settlement scheme for employees of ASAMB," it added.

The employees of ASAMB have not received salaries for more than a year and they have been on protests periodically demanding their dues.

The Cabinet note said that 612 regular employees of ASAMB will be offered a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), while one-time settlement/gratuity payment will be paid to 147 contingency and fixed pay staff.

"An additional 10 per cent will be given on this package over and above the settlement amount as a goodwill gesture by the government. The total fund for the entire exercise will be Rs 154 crore, which will be paid by the state," it added.

The Cabinet accordingly approved different formulae for the employees considering their year of service in the entity.

The government also decided to give 180 days of Child Adoption Leave to its female employees to ensure proper care of adopted children of below one year.

Besides, the Cabinet has accorded approval to extend the 'Apon Ghar' scheme up to March 2026, enabling government employees to purchase houses.

"The loan threshold limit will also be raised from the existing Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh with interest subvention of 1 per cent. Till date, the Government of Assam has provided interest subvention of Rs 596 crore, benefitting 37,277 state government employees," the communique said.

Further, the Cabinet approved the Assam Transportation of Merchandise Goods in Stage Carriage and Contract Carriage Buses Scheme, 2024, which will ensure smooth movement of e-commerce items. PTI TR TR RG

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