Punjab govt doctors postpone stir till Tuesday after health minister's assurance

·2-min read

Chandigarh, Jul 2 (PTI) The strike by Punjab government doctors against a recommendation of the sixth pay panel has been postponed till Tuesday after an assurance from state Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Friday that their demand would be met.

The doctors were protesting the recommendation of Punjab's sixth pay commission delinking non-practising allowance from the basic pay.

A delegation of the joint coordination committee led by Punjab Civil Medical Services Association president Dr Gagandeep Singh met Sidhu and said the minister has assured them about the restoration of non-practising allowance at the earlier rate of 25 per cent, which at present is fixed at 20 per cent.

The minister has also promised to issue a notification in this matter by Tuesday, Singh said, adding, 'At the moment, the struggle is postponed till Tuesday.' 'All doctors in the state will carry out their duty as usual from tomorrow wearing black badges. The next meeting of the joint committee will be held on Tuesday evening,' he said.

Singh has, however, warned that if the demands of the doctors are not met they would intensify their stir.

Health services were hit in Punjab government hospitals on Friday after doctors continued with their strike for the second day in a row. Earlier, they had abstained from work on June 25 and 28.

The call for strike was given by the Joint Punjab Government Doctors Coordination Committee, which has members from the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association and is supported by the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, Rural Medical Officers Association, Punjab Dental Medical Officers Association and Punjab Ayurveda Officers Association.

The Punjab government had announced to implement a majority of the recommendations of its sixth pay commission with effect from January 1, 2016, a move aimed at benefitting over five lakh serving and retired employees of the state government.

However, several associations of government employees have raised objections to the formula used in the calculation of an increase in pay. The Punjab government had set up an oversight committee of ministers to resolve the grievances of its employees. PTI VSD NSD NSD

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