Srinagar: The government has “agreed to enhance the retirement age of employees from 58 to 60 years,” a local news agency reported on Friday.
The increase in retirement age has been a long-pending demand of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), an amalgam of several employees unions, which recently deferred protests in Jammu as a ‘goodwill gesture’.
Two cabinet ministers who are in Cabinet Sub-Committee (CSC) holding deliberations with government employees said the government has passed directions to the Chief Secretary and the authorities at the helm of affairs in general Administration Department (GAD) to work out a proposal in this regard, Kashmir News Service(KNS) reported.
“The Chief Secretary has been asked to talk to talk to the employees’ leadership and issue the necessary directions to chalk out a proposal on the enhancement of retirement age taking all the prerequisites into consideration,” it quoted two ministers as saying on the condition of anonymity.
Ten days ago, Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) chairman Abdul Qayoom Wani had called on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in Jammu. The meeting between the two witnessed hectic deliberations on employee demands. “The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and the Chief Minister was very positive about meeting our demands which includes enhancement in retirement age,” Wani said.
He said the JCC’s decision to defer the proposed two-day agitation was in view of the ‘positive approach’ of Chief Minister and employee-friendly attitude of Cabinet Ministers regarding the implementation of agreement reached between the JCC Leaders and the state government on the instructions of Chief Minister. Earlier JCC had given a two-day strike call beginning February 14.
“We want that JCC should not be labeled as a confrontationist leadership; that is why we deferred our strike programme. We want to give chance to the state government to fulfill our demands amicably. Now the ball lies in the court of the government and they shall be responsible for resolving or not resolving the issues and conditions thereof,” Wani told KNS.
He said he met almost all CSC members including Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Sham Lal Sharma, Mir Saifullah and Abdul Rahim Rather, and “their approach towards addressing the demands of employees was positive.”
However, Mushtaq Bukhari, Secretary GAD, said, “I don’t know anything about this issue. Neither have I have received any instruction from the Chief Minister or Chief Secretary’s office in this regard.”