Uttarakhand secretariat, assembly offices revert to five-day week
Dehradun: In a major decision, the state cabinet chaired by chief minister Harish Rawat on Friday agreed to a proposal to reduce the number of working days per week to five from six in the offices of the state secretariat and assembly with immediate effect.
The proposal was passed at a meeting held at the secretariat. The number of working days per week has fluctuated ever since ND Tiwari became chief minister in 2002, when it was decided that the secretariat and state assembly would have a five-day week.
After Rawat was sworn in as the state’s eight chief minister, his government issued an order increasing the number of working days from five to six days on February 1, 2014. The reason, the government said, was to help clear pending work in both offices.
Top officials who attended the cabinet meeting on Friday told reporters that the objective of increasing the number of working days was also to help employees develop the habit of finishing their day-to-day administrative and other official assignments so that no work remained pending for the next day.
“As over two years have elapsed since we increased the number of workdays from five to six in a week, we decided to revert to five working days on the repeated demands of these employees thinking it will help them return to work every Monday with renewed zeal,” said a top government functionary. However, employees in other state government offices across Uttarakhand will continue to work six days a week.
State government employees have hailed the decision. “It will give a breather to employees. They will be able to return to work after a two-day weekend,” said Prahlad Singh, an office bearer of the state government employees’ union.
However, the state BJP leadership has dubbed the decision as meaningless. “First the state government increased the number of working days from five to six and now after two years it has reduced it to five, which is beyond one’s understanding,” said BJP spokesman Virendra Bisht.