Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jammu and Kashmir : Govt Agrees to Employees Demands, Stalemate Ends

The stalemate between the employees and the state government ended today[15th May] after latter agreed to most of the demands of its agitating employees.
A meeting took place between a cabinet sub-committee, headed by Finace Minister A R Rather, authorised by the government to deal with the situation following a fresh threat of agitation by the employees, and union representatives late Saturday evening.
The cabinet sub-committee was asked to engage in a 'meaningful' dialogue with the government employees, who went on strike April 3 but called it off later that month after the state high court ruled there was “no justification” for the agitation.
Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Mr.Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Rural Development, Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Ali Mohammad Sagar, Minister for School Education, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Minister for Industries & Commerce, Mr. S.S. Slathia, Chief Secretary, Mr. S.S.Kapur, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr. Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, Commissioner/Secretary, Finance, Mr. Sudhanshu Panday, Commissioner/Secretary,  GAD, Mr. Basharat Ahmad Dhar, Secretary Law, Mr. G.N. Tantray and various representatives of employees Unions, including Khursheed Alam and Nazir A Mir participated in the meeting.
Rather later announced that the employees will get increase of two and half percent HRA from the month of June this year while rest two and half percent will be released in June 2011 next year.
Regarding the release of dearness allowance, Mr. Rather said that it was decided that orders for release of 8% DA will be issued soon. He said that long pending demand of PSU employees has been solved by conversion of COLA into DA and will be effected from 1st July 2010.
To remove the pay anomalies, Mr. Rather said that the pay anomaly committee shall submit its report to the Government by the end of June this year for taking further action in this regard.
Regarding release of 6th Pay Commission arrears, Finance Minister said that the assurances given by the Chief Minister will be adhered strictly and road map for the release of arrears will be accordingly prepared within three months on the basis of which appropriate decisions will be taken. For acquiring the full pension benefits, the Committee has decided to reduce the qualifying services from 30 years to 28 years, Mr. Rather added. For the regularization of daily wagers, the Cabinet Sub-Committee already framed shall submit its report to the cabinet within six months.
The Finance Minister also announced the release of salaries in favour of the employees for the striking period and the period shall be considered as leave what-so-ever due to them as one time exception. He said the process will be initiated to look into the cases of those employees against whom action was taken under ESMA and a positive and lenient view shall be taken after following the due process of law.
Rather said that the Government has always been  employee-friendly and has taken several measures including implementation of  6th Pay Commission due to which State ex-chequer has to face burden of Rs 1800 crore.
Confirming the deal Nazir Ahmad Mir, a representative of the Civil Secretariat Employee’s Union said, “The state government has agreed to an eight percent increase in dearness allowance with effect from Jan 1. The government has also agreed to a 2.5 percent increase in house rent allowance which would be paid with the salaries at the end of this month.”
The employees were demanding payment of arrears as per the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, enhancement of retirement age from the present 58 to 60 years, as well as revocation of the principle of no work, no pay for those employees who had remained on strike in April.
The government also agreed to reduce the pension qualifying service from the present 30 years to 28 years, he said.
As for the enhancement of the retirement age, the cabinet sub-committee has promised the employees their demand would be sympathetically considered and a decision on this would be taken in the near future. 

Source : Kashmir Observer.

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