SRINAGAR: The Junior Agriculture Extension Officers (JAEO’s) of the Agriculture department have alleged “discrimination” while redressing pay anomalies of different departments and said that they have been “pushed against the wall” by the government.
The Agriculture department JAEOs work in the Rs. 4,280 pay grade and are demanding for the same to be raised to Rs. 4600 as they have no promotion avenues at this pay grade.
According to Sajad Rasheed Khwaja, State President, All Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture Employees Association, they have met the government in this regard many times and have made several agreements for the fulfilment of their demands.
“The government has time and again accepted this demand in principle, but nothing concrete has emerged so far,” said Sajad, who is also the general secretary of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC).
In one such agreement between the JCC and the Cabinet Sub-committee (CSC), copy of which is in possession of Kashmir Reader, B B Vyas as a member of the committee had termed the demand as “genuine” and had promised to “remove the disparity.”
The Association has also met with the advisors to the Governor, Khurshhed Ahmad Ganai and Bharat Bhushan Vyas, many times in this regard and has also sent a representation to the Finance Minister in May this year.
“The Section Officers (SOs) and JAEOs were working in the same pay band one point. They were equal posts in respect to the cadre and were working in the pay band of Rs 6500-10500. But the grade of SOs was revised and JAEOs were ignored,” Sajad said.
The Association said that the demand has been pending from a “very long time” and some of the employees are serving in the department for 20 to 30 years.
“Those employees should be benefited and their pay band should be revised according to the SOs’ pay band,” said Khawaja. “It is for the benefit of both the employees and the government.”
The Association said that they are confident and hopeful that the grades would be revised and all the problems would be solved, and those “neglected” in the past would be considered now.
“This time we are hopeful that our genuine demands will be addressed in the upcoming State Administrative Council (SAC) meeting as we have put our trust in the employee-friendly nature of the Governor’s advisors. We want to also thank the Governor in advance as he has promised to remove the pay anomaly of the clerical staff and others as well in the upcoming meeting,” Sajad said.