Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
The pay commissions are set up by Government of India, to give its recommendations regarding changes in salary structure/pension of its in/retired employees, owing to the reasons of cost escalation which means changes in the cost or price of specific goods or services in a given economy over a period and these recommendations are mandatory to be implemented by all other states. Seventh Pay Commission announced by GoI although not acceptable to some extent and attracting a protest by many unions, approximately 33 lakh employees, on 11th July, 2016, is a cat out of bag now. Some discrepancies can be sorted out by mutual understanding and through table talks, but the Central Government has come out with some relief to the employees and has tried to console them and to minimise some gap in between simple living and price hikes in all the fields what so ever may it be. The pay commission is to be implemented by every state of the union now or later but they cannot escape it.
When we speak of Jammu and Kashmir, it is a hard reality that J and K government has never given due share to its employees that may be, salary, half yearly DA installments, others perks announced by GoI or the pay commission recommendations, personal GPF, other benefits at the time of retirement etc, at its due time and that too after prolonged protests, Bandh calls and boycotting the Govt. work in the offices as pen down strikes. The government too has accepted these measures as required treatment to it before releasing the measures. Being a shrewd politician, the Chief Minister has come up with an appeal to employees to defer their demand for implementing the recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission and the reason for it has been given as State’s very bad financial position. At the same time CM has tried to create a wedge between the permanent employees and the casual labourers by playing the card of government intentions to make these casual labourers a permanent one by stating that “If we have to give employment, then I request the employees to defer their demand for implementing the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for at least two years”. This is not a fair play to make mockery of the due share of the permanent employees as well as the matter of considering the cases of casual labourer by mixing two different issues, so it is just to befool both the public servants as well as casual workers. This statement of CM has given an understanding to the un-employed also that permanent employees are going to become a hurdle in getting them job, if they demand their due implementation of Seventh Pay Commission. What a sorry state of affairs? Here I want to remind the CM that how fast the Assembly and Council was to pass the Bill for hiking the salary of CM, ministers, MLAs and MLCs. Where were these casual labourers and un-employed issue, which appears to CM now, when the employees are to be given some relief from escalating prices? The government is keen to double the development funds for its MLAs and MLCs to push their greed but appealing to its employees to shut their mouth. The big wasteful wagon of these politicians are creating more burden on the exchequer than the employees who are running the show, where as these politicians are white elephants only. Some considerations are suggested such as;
o Abolition of Legislative Council: As of 2014, seven states (out of twenty nine) have a Legislative Council.
* Cutting down the size of Cabinet which will reduce the burden automatically in the shape of accommodation, travelling allowance, security expenses and what not. ( In Governor Rule only two advisors were running the show)
* Doing away with the annual Darbar move which is a big blow on the State exchequer as well as on the working period of the secretariat.
* The lust rides of ministers and politicians in flying machines without any delivery be curbed.
* Review the burden of security cover, luxurious bungalows, flying squads, TA, medical expenses, of ministers, politicians and ‘Chamchas’ of politicians.
* Restricting to accompany by district officers with these politicians, who are always bent upon to muster their vote bank.
* Total withdrawal of development funds from MLAs/MLCs as it is largely mis-used to appease the party workers rather than for productive development.
A fine government was run in Governor’s rule with just two advisors and everyone was happy and appreciative and this popular government is so un-popular that it has brought only miseries, sufferings and what not. If the government has no resources to implement the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, providing jobs to the un-employed and to consider casual labour as permanent, it has no moral ground to function; it should immediately resign paving the way for Governor’s rule most acceptable to one and all. The huge amount usurped by these politicians will become sufficient to implement the recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission.