Punjab govt employees work just 165 days
On May Day, when people all over the world celebrated 'work culture', Punjab government employees holidayed on Thursday even as their counterparts in neighbouring Haryana attended offices, enhancing the state's productivity.
If that does not explain Punjab's slipping position on the national growth chart, then this simple back-of-the-envelope calculation would - on an average, a Punjab government employee is entitled to enjoy nearly 200 off days in a year, including 104 Saturdays and Sundays, 31 gazetted holidays, two restricted holidays out of the 17 offered days, 20 earned leaves, 10-20 casual leaves and another 20 medical leaves. Add another six-and-a-half days on account of nagar kirtans, and the number tots up to 200 holidays, out of 365 days in a year.
This effectively means that for every one working day, a Punjab government employee can enjoy almost 1.8 days as holidays!
Haryana, too, is liberal with holidays, but not as much as Punjab, as its employees get 28 gazetted holidays and two out of nine restricted holidays, 10 medical leaves (with full pay) or 20 (with half-pay), one to 20 CLs and 22 ELs. There are no half days. So, while Punjab has slipped from number one to seven on the national development scene, Haryana is steadily building up its position.
''On an average, we have 160-180 working days in a year whereas European countries maintain 220 government work days in a year, which should explain why we don't have a work culture,'' observes a senior Punjab government official, who has worked with organizations like UN and World Bank.
Notably, the previous Congress government had tried to correct the position by bringing down the gazetted holidays to just about 17.