Assam ministers, government staff head home on special leave

A host of ministers, bureaucrats and thousands of other Assam government employees started off on Thursday — all on the special bucket of four official holidays comprising two extra days off from work — stretching into a weekend created by the government for them to spend quality time with either their parents or in-laws.

To ensure that the employees use this time-off to be with their parents or in-laws, each of them have to upload photographs as proof on a designated government portal.

Only exceptions were in the education department and emergency departments like health, police, fire and electricity supply. Teaching and non-teaching staff of schools and colleges will avail this leave from 12th of this month as the educational institutes will be closed on 14th and 15th for the Bhogali (post-harvest) Bihu.
Employees of the emergency departments will be able to avail their leave in next four months in batches of 25% employees each to ensure that these services are not disrupted.

Early Thursday morning, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed in a tweet, “I urge all govt employees availing of this special leave to furnish photo proof of having spend time with parents/elderly in family.”

Our parents have given us a lot, and least we can do is to respond to their needs. Spend time, immerse yourselves into their love & blessings! In an age of weakening familial and social bondings, it is important for us to respond as a society to reinforce such values. Assam Government has launched a modest initiative towards this,” he added.
This is a first-of-its-kind initiative for geriatric care decision taken by the Assam cabinet in November and the CM had first announced it on the last Independence Day.
As finance minister in the erstwhile Sarbananda Sonowal cabinet, Sarma had announced in 2018 that government employees failing to take care of their dependant parents will have 10% of their pay deducted and transferred directly to the latter. The Assam Employees’ Parent Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring Act, 2017, mandates taking care of dependant parents as well as disabled siblings.

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