New Delhi: Railway employees are likely to get 78-day wages as a bonus this festive season. Further, this will be the seventh year in a row where employees will be given the bonus. The bonus will most certainly come to around Rs 18,000 per employee.

The government will announce the bonus after consulting with the cabinet. The bonus assumes significance as elections are around the corner. All-India Railwaymen’s Federation General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said, “The 78-day bonus will be announced next week as employees expect it during the festive season. It motivates the employees to improve the financial position of the public transporter.”

The Railway Board has proposed 78-day wages as a productivity-linked bonus (PLB) for its employees for 2017-18 after detailed discussions with rail unions, and the proposal is likely to be approved by the Cabinet, a senior Railway Ministry official told IANS.

National Federation of Indian Railwaymen General Secretary M. Raghavaiah said, “Since the Railways has earned Rs 16,000 crore more than the last year’s earnings and transported a record 1,161 million tonnes of freight this time, we had demanded an 80-day bonus. But finally, we agreed on 78 days.”

PLB is paid to about 12.26 lakh railway employees each year before the Dussehra festival. This does not include the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) personnel.

The financial implication of 78-day bonus to eligible non-gazetted railway employees for 2017-18 is estimated at over Rs 2,000 crore. The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of bonus is Rs 7,000 per month. Thus, the maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs 17,951 for 78 days.

(With IANS inputs)