Government on Wednesday gave approval to pay 78-day wages as bonus to railway employees, the same for the fifth consecutive year. The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the pay productivity-linked bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78-day wages to eligible non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) for the financial year 2015-16. Productivity-linked bonus is paid to about 12 lakh railway employees each year before the Dussehra festival. Eligible employees would be entitled to more than Rs. 18,000 under the approved 78 days’ wage PLB for 2015-16. The approval entails a financial implication of approximately Rs. 2090.96 crore to Railways Payment of PLB would result in motivating a large number of railway employees to improve the performance of the Railways and enhance the productivity levels further besides maintaining industrial peace. In 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 also, 78-day wages were also given as PLB to railway employees. “We have demanded 78-day wages as productivity-linked bonus (PLB) for railway employee this year. We are happy that government has agreed to our proposals,” National Federation of Indian Railwaymen General Secretary M Raghavaiah said. Welcoming the decision, All-India Railwaymen’s Federation General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said the bonus will motivate the employees to improve the financial position of the public transporter. Mishra said, “Since the PLB ceiling has been revised to Rs. 7000 from Rs. 3500, we expect each employee will get double the amount as against the last year’s bonus.” Last year, the minimum bonus paid was Rs. 8,975 per employee. PLB covers all non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) spread over the entire country. Railway’s PLB scheme came into effect from 1979-80 onwards. It was evolved in consultation with the two recognised federations — the AIRF and National Federation of Indian Railwaymen. The scheme envisages a review every three years.