Thursday, 18 July, 2024

Office assistant asked to repay Rs. 1m over retirement date row


By Our Correspondent, Urlabari, Mar. 28: A discrepancy in his date of birth and bureaucratic delays has put Ram Bahadur Basnet of Rangeli Municipality–8, Morang in a position of having to return salaries and allowances of 33 months.

The date of birth of Basnet, who has been working as an office assistant at Rangeli Hospital for the past 40 years, mentioned in his citizenship does not match with the date included in his employment records.

According to the records with the Citizen Investment Trust (CIT), Rangeli Hospital and the Department of Civil Personnel Records (DCPR), Basnet was born on July 14, 1963. But according to his citizenship, Basnet was born on July 13, 1960.

Going by his citizenship, Basnet should have mandatorily retired on July 14, 2018. However, he worked for 29 months more citing his date of birth registered with the CIT, the hospital and the DCPR.

On July 22, 2015, the medical superintendent of Rangeli Hospital Dr Bidhan Chandra Jha had written to the DCPR inquiring about Basnet’s compulsory retirement. But the department did not respond and Basnet kept working according to the birth date registered with the work-related agencies. Accordingly, he also kept receiving pay for his services.

But six years later on March 23, 2021, the DCPR sent a letter to the hospital asking it to determine the exact amount received by Basnet in monthly salaries, festival and other allowances, insurance and provident fund since July 14, 2018, recover it, deposit the money in the specified government account and send the vouchers as per rule 129 A (4) of the twelfth amendment to the Civil Service Rules 1993.

The letter left Basnet horrified. As per the letter, he now has to pay back more than Rs. 1 million. “I only kept working because the department did not reply to the hospital’s letter regarding my retirement,” Basnet shed tears from his eyes as he talked with The Rising Nepal.

Account Officer at Rangeli Municipality Rupa Sunuwar also believed that the inaction of the Department of Civil Personnel Records had led to the present situation. However, she opined that every employee on government payroll needed to be aware of their retirement date. “We only pay the salaries sent by the department to the hospital’s employees. We do not keep track of their personal details.”

Meanwhile, senior officials of the hospital are currently on leave. Local Dev Mani Katuwal complained that intern doctors, who had no knowledge of administrative procedures, had been left to run the hospital.