Congress to downsize staff strength at AICC HQs

New Delhi: In a bid to cut its flab and reduce mounting expenses, the Congress headquarters here has offered a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to its employees.

The scheme, which opened on July one, offers salary equivalent to two or three months for every year of service as an employee of the AICC headquarters. The benefits will also include normal retirement dues like Provident Fund, Gratuity, leave encashment etc.

"There were too many workers so VRS was offered. It is in the interest of the employees," Motilal Vora, party treasurer, said.

Sources said that of the around 145 staff at the AICC, about 60 could accept the VRS offer as it is quite attractive to those who have put in 20 years of service or more. They mainly include typists, personal secretaries, clerks and peons working with the AICC office-bearers.

"This is voluntary in nature. We will see the response of the offer," a source said when asked whether those not accepting the VRS would be sacked.

While those who have put in 10 to 15 years of service are a worried lot, others on the verge of retirement or having put in more than 20 years are happy.

"We are calculating the amount we are likely to get. After having served for so long here, the party has recognised our contributions," said a peon, working with a party Secretary.

Another employee, who works with a General Secretary said he was not sure how it would work out. "We will wait," was the only response of the worried 40-year old staff.

A party functionary said that the AICC headquarters will be shifted to Kotla Road in the next two years and the exercise was necessary as so many employees may not be needed there.

To bring down the wage bill at the AICC headquarters, some of the services like cleaning have already been given on contract. The canteen service has also been given on contract to a prominent chain of restaurant.