Srinagar: A day before the start of the Budget session of J&K legislature in Jammu, Minister for Finance, Haseeb A Drabu, announced that his government will take a “holistic review” of the job policy that was introduced in 2015 by Service Rules Order (SRO) 202.
“We will take a holistic review of SRO 202,” Drabu told Kashmir Reader on Monday evening.
The job policy that Drabu referred to was implemented by the PDP-BJP government in 2015, under which an employee is paid basic salary for five years after being appointed. The policy met with widespread resentment but the government had so far not shown any inclination to change it.
On Monday, the appointees under SRO-202 took to Twitter to seek a roll-back of the policy. In response, the official twitter handle of the finance minister wrote: “In reference to the flood of tweets on revocation of SRO-202, it is a policy decision that hasn’t been shoved down the throats of state employees. Those covered under the policy, opted for it. Willingly. Having said that, we are reviewing the policy.”
However, this statement did not go down well with the affected employees, who answered in unequivocal terms. “It’s not by choice, it’s by compulsion because people don’t have any alternatives available. Are you trying to say that those willing to work should continue begging in front of you for few pennies and those who are not willing may leave???” wrote one citizen, Irfan Khan.
“Leave all your luxuries and your facilities for a month and I will give you Rs 7000 for that month and you show us how you will take care of yourself along with your family, then we will follow it!!!” Khan wrote to the Finance Minister.
Joining the chorus, youth president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, sought intervention of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“It is an appeal for consideration of SRO-202 for new appointees on humanitarian ground, the employees recruited/appointed under SRO-202 Dated:- 30.6.2015 who are requesting the Chief Minister for keen consideration regarding bringing their services at par with the employees engaged by the government prior to announcement of this SRO,” Parra said after interacting with a delegation of SRO-202 Employees Association in Jammu on Monday.
Late in the evening, J&K Finance Minister (@JKFinMin) replied to anti-SRO 202 tweets: “Yes, parents invest in child’s education. Yes, students toil day & night to excel. Yes, governments should not be discriminatory against employees. But you can’t be an employee on your terms. Not happy? Move out. Conquer the world. Don’t let someone tell you otherwise.”