Jammu ,July 03:
Concerned over the simmering discontent amongst the govt employees particularly Contractual, DRWs, RETs etc against the most despicable apathy shown by the erstwhile BJP-PDP dispensation towards their legitimate concerns besides their harassment and intimidation during the said rule, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and Former Minister today appealed to the Governor to address their legitimate concerns on priority. Regretting the neglect of the issues of these agitating employees who were bullied, cane charged and made to languish on roads by the coalition government, he said that having been ignored rather cheated by previous rule they had pinned all hopes in Governor dispensation. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
Urging upon the Governor to address the genuine grievances of the protesting sections of contractual employees including Anganwari and Asha workers, NHM, Contractual Lecturers, MG-NREGA employees besides DRWs and RETs, Mr. Singh sought the early announcement of a Job policy, their time bound regularization and regular payment of wages so that they were assured of sustainable livelihood. Castigating the BJP-PDP rule, he said that whereas its Ministers and MLAs had voted themselves hefty hikes with respect to their salaries, TA, DAs, PAs, sitting allowances, car and housing advances, CDF and other perks and privileges including luxury cars, the lesser paid contractual and daily rated workers were denied regularization and wage revision on the pretext of financial constraints. He regretted that not only were the contractual employees denied their legitimate right of regularization but the negligible honorarium fixed for them also remained unpaid for months and years forcing them to starvation.
He said that while any respectable person could afford to remain hungry, his self respect could never allow him to see his family starving despite he having executed his part of the assigned duties.
Terming the apathetic nonchalant approach of the successive governments as exploitative, Mr. Singh said that administration would have to evolve a suitable job policy commensurate with its oft repeated slogans and thereby assuring them job security and sustainable livelihood as a welfare state. He said that thousands of highly qualified youth had been engaged on consolidated basis in various government departments since the launch of the said schemes without revising their salaries or framing any policy with respect to their regularization.
He said that such employees were made to work like bonded labourers on negligible honorarium despite repeated government assurances of pay parity with their counterparts in the regular establishments.
Decrying the payment of lesser wages to these contractual employees against their regular counterparts, Harshdev said that the existing policy was not only discriminatory but also violate of constitutional guarantees. He said that even the Supreme Court in a plethora of Judgments has observed that denying equal pay for equal work to temporary employees was oppressive, suppressive and coercive as it compelled involuntary subjugation.
Pointing towards the successive rulings of the Supreme Court, he said that the apex court had very categorically ruled that paying less wages to an employee as compared to a similarly situated constituted exploitative subjugation and hence violation of the fundamental guarantees enshrined in the constitution.
Accusing the BJP-PDP government of having belied the hopes and aspirations of educated youth, he said that issuance of highly perverse SRO-202, depletion of Job avenues, under employment of highly educated youth and maltreatment of contractuals had created huge resentment amongst the young fraternity of the state against the erstwhile alliance which had severely dented its credibility. He said that Governor was the only hope for all such categories of contractuals, daily rated workers besides RETs.
Gagan Pratap Singh State Secretary JKNPP was also present during the press conference.