Daily wagers break down during presser; say everyone in authority is ignoring their plight
Just 310 of the 61,000 cases of ad hoc appointees have been approved by the empowered committee for regularisation in one year.
On 23 December 2017, the J&K government had issued a notification to start process to regularize services of daily-rated, casual and seasonal workers engaged in state department.
The notification was issued after a two-decade long “struggle” by the daily rated workers seeking their regularization.
The government constituted the empowered committee under SRO-520 to approve regular engagement of daily-rated workers after examining eligibility in each case.
Since its first meeting on 2 July 2018, the empowered committee led by principal secretary finance department Navin K Choudhary has taken up just 700 cases for examination. However, Choudhary blamed the departments concerned for not sending files for approval.
In its first meeting, the committee had cleared 21 cases, followed by 117 cases on 6 July 2018, 32 cases on July 18, and 140 cases in its latest 4th meeting. Thus, in total 310 cases were given nod for regular engagement out of nearly 700 cases taken up for examination during these four meetings. Rest were rejected for want of the requisite documents as specified under SRO-520.
“The departments have to send files in a prescribed format and the job of the empowerment committee is to examine them. If they are not sending the files how can we expedite the process?” asked Choudhary in reply to a query.
“I don’t know the data (figures about cases cleared). I don’t keep records with me at home as it is holiday today (December 25),” he said.
“Around 700 cases have been taken up so far. We have completed all the formalities on our side. Our files are eating dust on the tables in divisional and circle offices. More than 2100 files of daily rated PHE workers are pending in administrative department,” said Sajad Ahmad Parray, president Kashmir PHE joint employees association.
SRO-520 is to benefit nine categories of appointees including daily-rated, casual, seasonal, HDF (Hospital Development Fund) and local fund workers, NYCs, land donors and ad-hoc/contractual appointees left-out under the J&K Civil Services (special provisions) Act 2010 for lacking eligibility criteria. The policy will also take care of ITI trained workers engaged by various departments.
As per the SRO, the skilled workers whose period of engagement is above 10 years and up to 15 years would be initially entitled to remuneration of Rs 13000 per month, while those having more than 15 years of engagement period and up to 20 years would get Rs 18000 per month.
Those skilled workers who have worked for over 20 years would get monthly remuneration of Rs 24000.
The unskilled workers whose period of engagement is above 10 years and up to 15 years would be initially entitled to the remuneration of Rs 10000 per month while those having more than 15 years of engagement period and up to 20 years would get Rs 15000 per month. The unskilled workers who have worked for over 20 years would get monthly remuneration of Rs 20000.
The cut-off date for regularization, as per the SRO, has been set 17 March 2015, when the powers to make such engagements were withdrawn by the government.
“We have not been paid our monthly remuneration for past one 18 months. Our regularization files are yet to reach empowerment committee,” said Sajad Ahmad Parray while addressing media persons here while announcing protest calendar of daily-rated workers.
Parray said he appealed to the president of India to intervene in the matter on humanitarian grounds.
He narrated the entire struggle from 1996 to till date about regularization of services.
The most of the daily rated workers broke down during presser, saying: “We have given our precious time and blood to department and still we are waiting what has been repeatedly promised to us. Everyone in authority is ignoring our plight. ”