The government has finally notified its much-talked-about policy for "regular engagement" of casual, seasonal and other workers and, according to it, the appointees shall be paid a monthly remuneration after their regularisation based on their years of engagement.
Finance minister Haseeb Drabu said that during the previous budget session, the government under the leadership of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made a commitment on the floor of the House that the process for regularisation of casual workers of various categories, whose fate was hanging in balance for decades, will start from the next financial year and "today we have fulfilled that commitment."
Under the policy notified Thursday vide SRO-520, the casual, seasonal and other workers would be entitled to monthly remuneration ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 24,000, provided their period of engagement is above 10 years and posses minimum educational qualification of 8th standard or above.
For implementation of the policy, a high-powered committee headed by finance secretary would consider the cases of these workers for their regular engagement and recommend the creation of commensurate positions called "government service assistants" after proper scrutiny of the proposals from the concerned departments.
Under the policy, the workers have been categorised as skilled and non-skilled for remuneration and other benefits. The skilled workers, it says, are those performing the job which requires special skills or training and the person have a valid technical qualification certificate issued by an ITI or a government recognised institute.
The skilled workers whose period of engagement is above 10 years (and up-to 15 years) would be entitled to consolidated remuneration of Rs 13,000 per-month, according to the policy, while those having more than 15 years of engagement period (and up to 20 years) would get Rs 18,000 per-month.
Those (skilled workers) who have worked for over 20 years would get monthly remuneration of Rs 24,000.
However, the unskilled workers would get consolidated wages between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per-month. The unskilled workers whose period of engagement is more than 20 years would get Rs 20,000 per-month.
These benefits would be applicable to casual labourers, daily-rated workers, seasonal workers, ITI-trained workers and left-out adhoc/contractual/ consolidated workers who have failed to fulfill the eligibility criteria prescribed under the J&K civil services (special provision) Act, 2010.
These categories of appointees would be entitled to annual hike of three percent on the consolidated pay drawn by them on the last day of a calendar year with date of effect as January 1 of the following year. They would also be covered under the new pension scheme along with the employer's share to be contributed by the government.
As per the policy, these workers shall be entitled to leave and medical reimbursement benefits at par with the state government employees (class IV), and to periodical promotions once their service crosses 15 years and 20 years.
The policy would be applicable to all casual and seasonal workers who have been engaged up-to March 17, 2015 or thereafter in accordance with the procedure laid down by the finance department on that day.
DATE OF EFFECT
Such workers shall be entitled to regular engagement after completing 10 years of continuous service with effect from 1st January of the year following which he/she completes the prescribed period of engagement. However, a seasonal worker must have completed 120 months of working in a department, in aggregate, in consecutive years with at least months, in a year continuously irrespective of the total number of years in which he/she completes 120 months of seasonal service.
Under the policy, an appointee should be a permanent resident of J&K and have minimum qualification of 8th standard or above.
He/she should have completed 10 years of continuous work.
However, the policy empowers administrative departments to grant relaxation in the age/qualification for regular engagement of casual, seasonal and other workers.
WHO WILL NOT BE COVERED?
The policy would not cover a person engaged in any department as part-time, contingent-paid worker or any other worker drawing wages at rates lesser than the daily-wage rates notified/sanctioned by the government from time to time. It would also not cover a person engaged on a tenure post or on academic arrangement for a fixed term in any department.
The policy would not be applicable to those engaged in non-governmental agencies or autonomous bodies or public sector undertakings or corporations or government companies or societies or other local authorities which have their own rules and regulations governing their functioning.
Under the policy, the NYC volunteers would be engaged on the wages paid to them prior to their disengagement.
"An NYC worker shall be entitled to regular engagement strictly on the pattern of a CSLW on the completion of the prescribed period of continuous service, after clubbing his/ her service rendered earlier as NYC worker," the policy states.
According to the policy, the land donors who have donated their land free of cost to the government shall be eligible for engagement as casual workers at the base level. The cut-off date, as per the policy, for determining the eligibility of such land donors shall be 01.01.2002.
"The minimum land donation qualifying for this arrangement/eligibility shall be one-kanal of property land," the policy states.
HDF, OTHER WORKERS
According to the policy, these rules shall apply to these workers subject to fulfillment of prescribed eligibility criteria. However they shall continue to be paid from hospital development fund/local funds as the case may be, and the enhancement of their remuneration shall be subject to the availability of resources in the respective funds.