Punjab employees on 5-day pen-down strike over pay commission report, SAD attacks govt

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Chandigarh, Jun 23 (PTI) Punjab government employees went on a five-day pen-down strike from Wednesday against the recommendations of the sixth pay commission, while the opposition SAD also attacked the Congress regime for allegedly 'committing fraud' on the employees.

Government employees including superintendents and clerical staff across the state will be on the pen-down strike till June 27, said Sukhchain Khera, the convener of the joint action committee of the state government employees.

He said the pay commission recommendations were not acceptable to them.

The Punjab government last week decided to implement a majority of the recommendations of its sixth pay commission with effect from January 1, 2016, a move that will benefit over five lakh serving and retired employees.

The disbursal of salaries and pensions under the new structure will begin from July 1.

The implementation would entail 2.59 times increase in salaries and pensions over the previous pay commission recommendations, with an annual increment rate of three per cent.

The protesting employees have objected to the formula used in calculation of an increase in pay.

'We are demanding the pay should be hiked by a multiple of 2.74,” said Khera, adding the pay hike otherwise was negligible.

The protesting employees raised slogans against the state government.

The Shiromani Akali Dal accused the Congress government of committing a fraud on the employees in the name of sixth pay commission and demanded a special assembly session to discuss the matter.

SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should explain why allowances of various categories of employees had been stopped altogether and different categories of employees created in the Punjab government by enforcing the Central Pay Commission on new recruits.

'The chief minister should also tell why thousands of contractual employees, whom he had committed to regularise five years back, were still not regularised,' he asked in a statement here.

Majithia also demanded the immediate dismissal of finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal.

'Employees across the state have expressed their no-confidence in the finance minister by holding a pen-down strike followed by a walk out from government offices. The agitation is expected to intensify in the coming days with the employee federations announcing a week long agitation plan,' he said.

'Government functioning has been partially paralysed already. The employees do not have any faith that Manpreet Badal will redress their grievances due to his anti-employee approach. Therefore, the CM should sack the finance minister immediately so that rapprochement talks with the employees can be initiated as quickly as possible,' said Majithia.

The SAD leader also demanded a probe into the entire recommendations made by the sixth pay commission. PTI CHS VSD TIR TIR

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