The Assam Assembly passed a bill to ensure that state government employees take care of their parents and siblings with disabilities, or face a 10 per cent cut in their monthly salary. This deducted amount would be given to their parents and siblings for their upkeep.
The Assam Employees’ Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring Bill, 2017, aims “to provide for accountability for employees of the state government or any other organisation in Assam in taking care of their parents and divyang (disabled) siblings and in matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.
Introducing the proposed legislation in the House, which is also called the Assam Employees PRONAM Bill, state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said there are instances of parents going to old age homes as their children did not look after them.
The PRONAM bill has been brought in so that if employees don’t take care of their parents and divyang siblings then 10 per cent of their monthly salary will be deducted for the upkeep of their parents and disabled siblings, he said.
The purpose of the bill was not to interfere with the private life of state government employees but to ensure that their parents and siblings with disabilities in the event of being neglected could lodge a complaint with the employee’s department, Sarma said.
The department would deduct 10 per cent of the employee’s monthly salary and give it to their neglected parents and disabled siblings, the minister said.
After discussion on the bill, the House passed it by voice vote.
Sarma said a similar bill will be introduced later for MLAs and MPs, employees of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and private companies operating in Assam to take care of their parents and divyang siblings.
Former chief minister and opposition Congress leader Tarun Gogoi, in a press meet today, termed the PRONAM Bill an “insult to the Assamese society” as the people of the state have a tradition of looking after their old parents and siblings.
Claiming such a bill interfered with the private life of government employees, Gogoi said, “Our culture is to not only look after our old parents and own siblings educating them but also take care of even cousins and other relatives.”