Employees stage protest, 15 hurt
DA Arrears Pending For Want Of Resources, Enhancement Of Retirement Age Under Consideration: Government
SYED AMJAD SHAH
Jammu, Feb 25: At least 15 government employees were injured when police used force to quell them here on Thursday.
Hundreds of employees led by senior Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) leaders, including Khursheed Alam Wani, and A Q Wani, took out a protests march here this morning. The employees were demanding release of arrears, enhancement of retirement age and removal of existing pay anomalies in different cadres.
Amid anti-government slogans employees managed to reach Shalimar Chowk after a scuffle with police near City Chowk. As soon as employees reached there police swung into action and used water cannon to disperse them. However, agitating employees again tried to break the police cordon and made an attempt to reach near the secretariat. Police resorted to baton charge and fired tear smoke canisters to disperse them.
Police also detained around 500 employees for violating section 144. Police admitted that it had detained scores of protesting employees.
The JCC leader Khursheed Alam Wani told media persons that employees would go on 5- days strike from March 9 to 13, 2010 if government failed to fulfill their demands till then.
Members of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh All Department Clerical Staff Association have condemned the use of force and arrest of the protesting employees. They have urged government to fulfil their long pending demands.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, and Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, Thursday described the strike of state government employees as “illegitimate” and urged them to shun the agitational path.
Chief Minister, while replying to the debate on the Vote of Thanks on Governor’s Address in the Legislative Assembly, said that government had held detailed deliberations with the employees unions but some elements were trying to create confusion for their own vested interests. “The government has already announced that their demands are under due consideration,” he added.
Omar said his government had already implemented the recommendations of sixth pay commissions unlike most of the other states. “Today the employees are getting their salaries as per the revised scale and all DA instalments have been cleared”, he said.
“However, with regards to the payment of the arrears I have already said that the demand would be met as when the resources are available with the state,” he added.
“Regarding the enhancement of the retirement age from 58 to 60 years the matter is under due consideration and its financial implications are being chalked out,” he said.
“In a state where unemployment is the biggest challenge it is not practical to increase the age limit for another two years”, Omar said, “However, I have made myself clear that the matter has not been closed and exercise to find out its implications are being looked into.”
Earlier Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather also informed the House that pending demands of the employees would be accepted only after resources would be available. “Most demands of employees concerning 6th pay commission and others put forth by their representatives during a meeting with the cabinet sub-committee in Jammu on February 18, 2009, have been fulfilled,” Rather informed the House.
The Finance Minister while listing the demands of employees fulfilled by the government said: “ Wages of daily wagers have been enhanced from Rs 70 to Rs 110, adhoc, contractual and consolidated employees have been regularized, pending DA instalments and COLA have been released.”
Referring to the enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years, Rather said, “Decision in this connection would be taken only after wider consultation with all stakeholders of the government, adding, “We have already received numerous representations from unemployed youth.”
He said that pending arrears of the 6th pay commission which amount to Rs 4200 crores would be released only after financial resources are available, adding, the state government has pleaded this case forcefully in the 13th Finance Commission meeting during their visit to Jammu and Kashmir last year.
Rather appealed employee unions to resume their work for the welfare of state and assured that their genuine demands would be redressed soon.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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