FSSAI had 261 unauthorised contractual employees: CAG

FSSAI had 261 unauthorised contractual employees: CAG

New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) The FSSAI has on its roll unauthorised 261 contractual employees who perform routine functions, defeating the intention that employees should perform specific tasks, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has said.

The audit body has observed that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has not, prior to the engaging the 261 employee, identified their specific work, expected output and time frame for completion of the work.

"FSSAI has on its roll (as of December 2016), 261 contractual employees in the technical, scientific, administrative and general categories. Audit observed that these contractual employees were performing routine functions, defeating the intention of appointing contractual employees only for specific tasks of defined duration," the audit report says.

Of the total, 51 were appointed in 2016 alone, it said. "Further, 61 contractual employees have been working in FSSAI for more than five years (as of December 2016)," said the report.

The FSSAI admitted (May 2017) that the contractual staff had been engaged for even more than five years and they have been working like regular staff and not in any time-bound specific activity. This supports the audit observation.

FSSAI stated that an internal committee had been set up to review all contractual appointments including their remuneration, increment and tenure.

The audit body also found that there was irregular grant of higher grade to a category of contractual employees.

"In terms of sanction orders (September 2010) of the Ministry, Assistance and Accounts Assistants/Administration cum Accounts Assistants in the FSSAI are only entitled to grade pay of Rs 4,200.

"However, without the approval of the food authority, Ministry, the CEO, FSSAI approved (March 2015) fixation of remuneration payable to contractual employees based on the grade pay of Rs 4,600 against the post of Assistant and Accounts Assistants/Administration cum Accounts Assistants," said the report.

According to the audit body, FSSAI accepted the facts and stated that the rationale for this has not been found on records so far.

"In case there is no good reason, this would be reverted to Rs 4,200," said the report.

--IANS

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