Stakeholders term the decision ‘historic’
SRINAGAR: Srinagar: It was the herculean effort of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti which finally led the government to issue notification to regularise the daily wagers, government sources revealed.
According to sources, chief minister faced stiff opposition from various legislators, some from the coalition partner BJP, and also from the government officers who argued the state was already suffering on account of the fat salary bills it was paying to the employees.
It was the major reason that previous governments refrained from regularizing the daily wagers which would have brought pressure on the state treasury, the sources revealed.
“So it was not an easy decision. “Chief Minister prevailed upon opposition so that daily wagers could be regularized and given a permanent source of livelihood,” sources said. “The chief minister went out of way in issuing the notification to regularize the daily wagers. It was a bold step, well knowing that the state had meager resources”.
The government will regularise 60,000 employees which will benefit over seven lakh people across the state.
According to the SRO-520, nine categories of labourers including daily-rated, casual, seasonal, HDF (Hospital Development Fund) and local fund workers, NYCs, land donors, ITI workers and ad-hoc/contractual appointees left-out under the J&K Civil Services (special provisions) Act 2010 for want of eligibility criteria, will benefit from the Regularization Policy.
As per the policy, the daily wagers will be designated as General Service Assistants (GSAs) after regularisation and will be paid monthly remuneration of Rs 10000 and a maximum of Rs 24000 depending on their skills and length of engagement, entitled to an annual hike of 3% on remuneration, shall be covered under NPS along-with Employer’s Share to be contributed by the Govt and shall be entitled to Leave & Medical Reimbursement benefits.
Meanwhile, the stakeholders termed the government decision to regularize the daily wagers as historic.
A daily wager employee, Riyaz Ahmad said he was working in the water department from past 19 years and never thought that he would be ever regularized.
“We were paid peanuts. We were the most exploited lot. We were not even paid regularly for our work,” Ahmad said. “This decision has brought life to my hopeless world.I will be entitled regular monthly wages and some other benefits under the engagement which were not there as a casual labour,” he said.
President Power Development Department (PDD), Muhammad Shafi, while expressing his delight, applauded the chief minister and the finance minister for taking the historic step.
“No government would have taken such a better decision for us. All our demands have been met. We are satisfied and appreciate it,” Shafi said.
On Saturday, Chief Minister said that providing jobs and skill development is paramount for the development of the state.
She also said that the government has issued a notification to formally set into motion the process for the regularization of daily-rated, casual and seasonal workers, terming it a major relief to them.
“To provide major relief to thousands of daily-rated, casual & seasonal workers we have issued a notification to formally set into motion the process for their regularization. Providing jobs & skill development is paramount for the development of the state,” she tweeted.
In her another tweet, Mehbooba greeted people on the eve of Christmas and New Year, saying that “the best Christmas gifts we can give each other are peace, love and hope.”