Mehbooba Urges Employees To Defer Pay Hike Demand By 2 Years

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday appealed to the employees of the state government to defer their demand for implementing the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations by at least two years in view of the state’s “very bad financial position”.

“I want to request our unions, our employees that the economic condition of our state is very bad,” she said, adding the state government was facing numerous liabilities.

“Around Rs 20,000 crore is missing from our provident fund. We cannot find it and while we were looking to fill the gaps, the Seventh Pay Commission awards have been announced,” she said.

“I request our employees that it is your state and you run it,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the government was thinking about how to make 61,000 casual labourers permanent.

If we have to give them employment, then I request the employees to defer their demand for implementing the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for at least two years, she said speaking at the conclusion of the over month-long Budget Session in the Legislative Council.

Mehbooba asked the employees for some time for the government to “sort out the financial mismanagement”.

“Let us first fight our problems and the financial mismanagement that has taken place. Till we are able to stand up on our legs, I request the leaders of our employees to give us some time. We have done it (implementing pay commission recommendations) in the past and we will do it,” she said.

The Chief Minister said the government was working towards addressing issues concerning the youth, particularly that of unemployment.

“I understand the aspirations of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. I have a vision for them and I want to assure them that my government, together with the Government of India, is working to address their issues, particularly that of unemployment, to the best of our collective abilities,” she said, adding that this was “not a personal commitment but a pledge”.

The Chief Minister, apparently referring to the alleged suicide bid by an IAS officer, also asked officials, legislators and ministers to separate their personal life from public life.

“Be it a legislator, minister or any officer, he should separate his personal life from his public life,” she said, adding that this will not be tolerated in the future as it makes the whole system look bad.

“I am not pointing towards an officer. I am talking generally because we get many complaints about legislators. I do not want to take names but this has happened and is wrong,” said Mehbooba.

“We should control our actions and should not do anything due to which our respect among the people is lowered,” she added.

Employees Threaten ‘Indefinite’ Strike

Reacting the statement of Chief Minister, J&K Civil Secretariat Employees Coordination Committee, Ghulam Rasool Mir, Saturday described the statement unfortunate as the employees state has to wait for another two years for their genuine demand. 

He said the employees of the J&K are working day in day out for the development of the state but when they demand for their genuine cause, the government asks them to wait whereas they take no time for revision of 100% increase in pay hikes of their legislatures. 

Mir said that the Secretariat Employees are amongst the first who struggling for regularization of casual labours and said if the government wants to regularize services of Casual Labours, the union will whole heartedly support the Government for this landmark decision. 

At the same time, they are demanding, to release the 7th Pay Commission in favour of the employees, to resolve long pending pay anomaly and Cadre Review/Career Progression.

While referring the Chief Minister’s Statement that State’s financial position is not sound for implementation of 7th Pay Commission, Mir said then why the government has purchased vehicles worth Rs 200 crores, 100% hike in their salary, regular repairs and renovations on government residential/office accommodations which have created huge financial liabilities on state exchequer. 

The government has already pending burning issues of employees like Pay Anomaly, Career Progression/Cadre Review, etc. and government has not shown seriousness to resolve these issues even the employees hold protests. 

In case, the government will still turn their deaf ears towards employees’ genuine demands, the employees have no option to hold state-wide protest on indefinite basis. 

We request the Chief Minister to address employees burning issues without going into confrontation which is not beneficial for the state. 

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