Government employees strike work in Jammu and Kashmir (Lead)February 10th, 2009 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar/Jammu, Feb 10 (IANS) State government employees Tuesday went on a two-day strike across Jammu and Kashmir, demanding implementation of the sixth pay commission recommendations.
Work in government offices across the state came to a halt and in winter capital Jammu, even essential services like medical, health care, water supplies and power were affected by the strike. However, in the Kashmir Valley, services like hospitals and power and water supply were not affected.
Hundreds of state government employees took out processions in summer capital Srinagar and at other district headquarters of the Valley, demanding the extension of sixth pay commission benefits to them as admissible to central government employees.
In Jammu, employees said the government has not shown any seriousness in implementing the sixth pay commission report.
“We fail to understand why the Jammu and Kashmir government is adopting a dilly dallying policy when it has committed to implement the report in letter and spirit,” Gurbachan Kaur, a teacher, told IANS.
Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said: “The state government is serious and is making a case for the money to be allocated for the implementation of the sixth pay commission report.”
“We are committed in principle to extending these benefits to our employees, but would have to arrange for resources through central assistance to make the implementation possible”, he told media persons in Jammu.
“We need around Rs.1,700 crore (Rs.17 billion) annually and an additional Rs.3,100 crore (Rs.31 billion) to pay the arrears to implement the recommendations,” the minister said.
Besides financial benefits, the government employees are also demanding the raising of the retirement age from the present 58 to 60 years.