Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gujarat Government staff to go on mass leave in protest

Anger against delay in implementation of pay panel’s recommendations

Over eight lakh Govt. employees across Gujarat will go on a day’s mass casual leave on November 5, to protest against the government’s delay in announcing the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations to hike employees’ salaries.

“We have already served an ultimatum to the government that the employees will go on a mass CL on November 5. We have also decided to intensify our agitation if the government fails to make an announcement on the Commission’s recommendations before Diwali,” said Girish Raval, Convenor of the Gujarat Rajya Karmachari Mahamandal.

Raval told Newsline today that a five-member Cabinet sub-committee, set up to study the implications of the Commission’s recommendations, had on Monday last, submitted its report to the government, suggesting that it could be implemented in the state.

Despite the “positive” report submitted by a sub-committee headed by Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala, the Modi government was dilly-dallying in announcing the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, he said.

The Mahamandal leader said that apart from the Central government, six other state governments had announced that they will implement the recommendations in toto. But, the Gujarat government continues to keep its employees on tenterhooks, he said.

The various government employees’ bodies in the state expected that the government would take a decision on this issue at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. But, the Cabinet failed to take a decision on this, causing a great deal of disappointment among lakhs of its employees, Raval said.

Meanwhile, a senior official in the state Finance Department said the government would have to entail an additional burden of about Rs 3,000 crore in the first year when it decides to implement the Commission’s recommendations for its employees with retrospective effect from January 2006.

Later, the government would have to shoulder an additional burden of Rs 1,000 crore annually if the recommendations hiking the employees’ salaries were implemented in toto, at par with the Central government employees, the official said.

There are over eight lakh government employees, including those serving in the state-owned Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in Gujarat. Besides, there are over two lakh pensioners in the state, who will also benefit from the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations.

Source : Indian Express

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