North Gazette News/Shimla
Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday announced 7 percent Dearness Allowance (DA) to gpvernment employees that would be effective from July 2014.
Singh, while presiding over the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting of State Employees Federation, announced to enhance the income limit to Rs 1.50 lakh from the present Rs 1.25 lakh for granting jobs on compassionate grounds.
“The enhanced DA would be applicable from July, 2014 and arrears would be deposited in the Provident Fund of government employees’ upto March, 2015. This would put an extra burden of Rs 300 Crore on the state exchequer,” Singh said.
The Chief Minister said that the demands of the employees of the Rogi Kalyan Samitis would be considered sympathetically.
“I always wished a single body of NGOs in the state and the efforts bore fruit as my only motive is to have a single employee body,” he said.
“Though it was tough task, but at last the maxim ‘all’s well that ends well’ proved to be justified and the state employees had come under the canopy of single employee federation,” the Chief Minister added.
He said it was necessary to have an elected employees body in a democratic set up in the government sector, similarly, as trade unions in private set ups to take up the grievances and genuine demands of the employees with the government from time to time, said he. He said that the previous state government adopted the policy of ‘divide and rule’ and divided the NGO body in several separate units which proved detrimental for the employees.
“Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, sensing my active entry in the state politics, announced sops in a haste for the employees few months before the assembly elections without pondering that it would put an extra burden of Rs 1300 Crore over the state treasury. As a result of this, the present state government, when took over, had empty coffers,” he said.
Singh said the state government only followed the Punjab Pay Commission in respect of the financial benefits to the employees and not the announcements made by cabinet sub-committees or any other boards and Corporations formed by the Punjab government to lure its employees during elections. “The employees should understand the same,” he added.
Singh said the previous government could not present its case properly before the 13th Finance Commission and as a result, the Commission grossly underestimated the committed liabilities of the State. “The 13th Finance Commission had not even given an equal treatment to the state despite the fact that preferential treatment to a Special Category State like Himachal Pradesh was required to be given.”
He expressed hope that the 14th Finance Commission will look into the financial aspects of the State considerately.
The Chief Minister said the state government had always been considerate towards the demands of the employees despite financial constraints and had always been fulfilling their genuine demands. “The state government is committed to regularize the daily wagers in a phased manner and those who had completed seven years as daily wagers are being regularized. Similarly, the contractual employees completing six years in service are also being considered for regularization.”
Singh said that the wages of the daily wagers had been enhanced from Rs 150 to Rs 170. The winter allowance for the employees in the tribal areas had already been enhanced from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per month and similarly many sops had been announced for the employees during the past two years. The Chief Minister said as many as 716 persons were given jobs on compassionate ground from January 2013 to December 2014.
He urged the employees to continue with the same cooperation they had been extending over two years to the government and assured them that all the genuine demands of the employees would be considered sympathetically.