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Allowance for polling officers revised

Kolkata: The election allowance for polling officers has been revised for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.

According to a letter of the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer and ex-officio Deputy Secretary of the state government, the "employees of the Central or state government, local bodies and others" who may be appointed as Presiding Officers/Polling Officers for performing polling duty in connection with the general elections to West Bengal Legislative Assembly 2021 shall be paid "Election Allowances only in lieu of TA/DA and tiffin charges for performances of polling duties".

On each of all the three days of training, a presiding officer will get Rs 350. The first, second or third polling officers will get Rs 250 on each day of training.

On the days of taking polling materials and polling duties, the presiding officer will get Rs 350 every day. Each of the first, second and third polling officers will get Rs 250 for the same.

As per the election branch of the state Home and Hill Affairs Department, each polling party may also be given a fixed amount of Rs 300 only towards contingent expenditure. The presiding officers, who will be engaged on poll duty, will be paid additional Rs 50 to recharge their mobile phones to be used for sending poll reports by SMS. At the same time, the staff deployed at all polling stations may be provided with packed lunch or light refreshment at Rs 170 per head on poll day. The payment will be made in cash in case of difficulty in providing packed lunch.

The master trainers, who will be engaged by District Election Officer, should be given allowances of Rs 350 for providing training on each day. But, under no circumstance the total allowances for each trainer would exceed Rs 1,000. It has also been decided that the DCRC or sector staff (other than sector officers), who will be engaged in works other than polling duty, will get Rs 200 for the day before polling and the similar amount for the election day. Additional tiffin allowance of Rs 170 each will also be given, in case it does not become possible to provide the packed lunch.

The government employees have expressed their satisfaction with the election allowance. Manoj Chakraborty, a founder member of Trinamool Congress-backed Paschimbanga Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Federation, said: "We are happy with the revised election allowance. But necessary steps should also be taken for our security when we go for the poll duty."

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