The Assam cabinet on 24 November 2021, created a four official holidays bucket at the beginning of the New Year. All ministers, bureaucrats and other employees must use these four days to spend time with either their parents or in-laws. The Assam Government is giving importance to geriatric care with this initiative. This is one of the first initiatives implemented for such a purpose. This four-holiday bucket leads to two extra days off from work and stretches into the weekend. The stakeholders cannot utilize the additional, January 6-7 holiday, for any other purpose rather than visiting their elderly parents/in-laws. They need to take them on a trip or spend family time with them.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, expressed that he would be personally very happy when everyone will take their parents blessings at the start of the year. This will help them work well for the benefit of the state, asserted Sarma.
On Independence Day, CM Sarma announced that the BJP-led government would grant an extra week’s leave to its employees. As the finance minister during the Sarbananda Sonowal cabinet in 2018, Sarma announced in 2018 that government employees who fails to take care of their elderly parents will have 10 percent of their salary deducted.
According to the Assam Employees’ Parent Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring Act, 2017, it is compulsory to take care of dependent parents and disabled siblings.
In the cabinet meeting, which was held in Bongaigaon, Sarma mentioned that although ministers are not allowed to leave generally, the government had allowed them to take some time off from work. They can take off on these designated days to spend time with their parents or in-laws. He also mentioned that any officer ranging from IAS and IPs to Grade IV could avail this special leave, except the ones with on field duty.
This progressive initiative by the State Government would serve the purpose of joint family system and parental responsibility. The Himanta Biswa Sarma led BJP government in Assam, holds a cabinet meeting every Wednesday. The State Government also holds one cabinet meeting outside the capital in alternate months. In September, the government organized the first cabinet meeting in Dhemaji. The government has set Diphu as the venue for the next cabinet meeting in January. This initiative will help the state employees to avail room for quality time with their parents and in-laws in their dependent years.
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