AG’s office coop society becomes flashpoint

By NT Bureau Published on Sep 08, 2017 03:46 PM IST

Women staff of AG's office protesting on Thursday.

Chennai: The employees of the Accountant General's office of Tamilnadu, staged a protest on Thursday against the decision of their Accountant General (A&E), Arun Goyal, to seal the Employees Cooperative Credit Society which has been functioning on the premises for the last 60 years.

The Employees Cooperative Credit Society was formed by the AG’s office employees for taking care of their immediate financial needs by providing loans at low interest. Over the years, the society had grown steadily with the support of the employees, to a level that a member could avail of a loan up to Rs 5 lakh, said a member.

The problem started when Arun Goyal, who took charge as Accountant General in 2016, refused to recover the loan instalment from the employees’ monthly salary, which had been the practice since the inception of the society. The society obtained a stay order from the Madras High Court against the decision of the AG.

But, after six months, due to the absence of a tripartite agreement, the stay was vacated, with instructions to the AG not to interfere in the daily affairs of the cooperative society. Now the society has again gone on appeal, and the next hearing is in two weeks.

In the meantime, Arun Goyal issued a notice to the secretary of the society to vacate the premises and that the society would be sealed today in spite of the court's instructions.

An employee of the AG's office said, "The destructive mentality of the AG has jeopardised the functioning of the society. From marriages to medical emergencies, the loans which we availed of from the society helped us in our times of need. In return, the interest was deducted each month from our salary in instalments and it was a smooth process."

The AG’s office staff staged a demonstration yesterday and resolutions were passed saying the AG (A&E) will be responsible for any untoward incident happening. All India Audit Officers Association, Confederation of Central Government Employees, All India Audit and Accounts Employees Association, All India Pensioner's Association, Central Government Gazetted Officers Association have extended support to this agitation.

Efforts of News Today to reach the AG’s office and Deputy AG’s office went in vain.