Srinagar: The J&K government has issued a notification to formally set in motion the process for regularising at least 60,000 unregularised employees in various departments.
The government termed the initiative as a “major relief” to thousands of daily-rated, casual, seasonal and other such workers who shall henceforth be designated as Government Services Assistants (GSAs).
An official spokesperson said on Friday that the ‘Jammu & Kashmir Casual and Other Workers – Regular Engagement Rules 2017’, outlined in SRO-520 issued by the Finance Department Thursday evening, will benefit nine categories of such appointees including daily-rated, casual, seasonal, HDF (Hospital Development Fund) and local fund workers, National Youth Corps (NYCs), land donors and ad-hoc/contractual appointees left out under the J&K Civil Services (special provisions) Act 2010 for want of eligibility criteria.
“The policy will also take care of ITI-trained workers engaged by various departments,” the spokesperson said.
“The regularisation process would begin immediately,” the spokesperson announced.
According to the SRO-520, eligible workers will be categorised as “Skilled” and “Non-Skilled” on the basis of their educational, technical and professional profile. Their regularisation and the remuneration will be commensurate with the length of their engagement.
“They will be entitled to all the financial and service benefits, including annual increment, pension under NPS, leave and medical reimbursement, periodical hike in remuneration akin to Pay Commission and maintenance of service records, and will be covered under work, conduct and discipline rules, including retirement,” the official spokesperson explained.
Nine categories of employees to benefit
Will be designated as General Service Assistants (GSAs)
GSAs to get salary ranging Rs 10000 to Rs 24000
Will be entitled to an annual hike of 3% on remuneration
Shall be covered under NPS
Shall be entitled to Leave & Medical Reimbursement benefits
GSAs shall continue in a department up to the age of 60 years
GSAs shall be regulated in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services (Employees) Conduct
However the spokesperson said, quoting the Finance Department, that skilled workers whose period of engagement is above 10 years and up to 15 years would be initially entitled to remuneration of Rs 13,000 per month, while those having more than 15 years of engagement period and up to 20 years would get Rs 18,000 per month. “Those skilled workers who have worked for over 20 years would get monthly remuneration of Rs 24,000.”
“The ‘Non-Skilled’ workers whose period of engagement is above 10 years and up to 15 years would be initially entitled to remuneration of Rs 10,000 per month, while those having more than 15 years of engagement period and up to 20 years would get Rs 15,000 per month. Those un-skilled workers who have worked for over 20 years would get monthly remuneration of Rs 20,000,” the government spokesperson said.
“The cut-off date for regularisation, as per the SRO, has been set as 17/03/2015, when the powers to make such engagements were withdrawn by the Government,” the spokesperson informed.
The SRO says that prospective workers for regularisation should be state subjects of J&K, possessing a minimum educational qualification of 8th standard or above; on the date of their initial engagement, their age should be within the minimum/maximum age limit as prescribed for appointment in the government service; they must have completed 10 years of continuous working; they must be continuing in the department as on date and their conduct must be satisfactory with no disciplinary proceedings pending against them.
“The provisions of Article 35-A of the J&K Civil Service Rules will apply to a CSLW in respect of determination and verification of age. The concerned Administrative Department will have the powers to grant relaxation in the age/qualification for regular engagement of a CSLW on case to case basis,” the SRO states.
“The Government would set up an Empowered Committee in the Finance Department to recommend creation of commensurate positions of General Service Assistants after proper scrutiny of proposals from the concerned Departments,” it added. The Administration Secretary, Finance, would be the Chairman of the Committee.
The Members will include the Administrative Secretary of the concerned department or a Representative not below the rank of Special Secretary, Administrative Secretary GAD or a Representative not below the rank of Special Secretary, Administrative Secretary, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs or a Representative not below the rank of Special Secretary and Director (Codes), Finance Department.
About NYC workers, the spokesperson said, “They will initially be re-engaged on the wages which were paid to them before their disengagement. The orders of their re-engagement will be issued by the Youth, Services and Sports Department. The NYC workers will be entitled to regular engagement on the pattern of a CSLW on the completion of prescribed period of continuous service, after clubbing their service rendered earlier as NYC workers.”
“The land donors, who have donated their land free of cost to the Government, will be eligible for engagement as casual workers on the recommendations of a Committee to be constituted by the concerned Administrative Departments and to be headed by the concerned Administrative Secretary,” it further said.
“The cases of land donors, who have donated land after 31.12.2001 up to coming into force of these Rules only will be considered. The minimum land donated should be one kanal of proprietary land and it should be legally mutated in favour of the State Government,” the SRO said.
It added that left-out adhoc/contractual/consolidated workers who were not entitled to regularisation under the provisions of the J&K Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act, 2010, will also be considered for regular engagement at par with casual, seasonal and daily-rated workers, subject to fulfilment of eligibility criteria.
Regarding Hospital Development Fund and Local Fund Workers, the rule will mutatis mutandis apply to them, subject to fulfilment of prescribed eligibility criteria. However, they will continue to be paid from the Hospital Development Fund/Local Fund, and the enhancement of their remuneration will be subject to availability of resources in the respective funds.
The SRO was issued after the state cabinet on October 23 this year accepted the roadmap prepared by the high-level committee headed by the chief secretary for absorption/regularisation of casual/seasonal labourers/daily-rated workers to ensure sustainable livelihood to hundreds of such workers engaged over a period of several years.