|Wednesday, January 19, 2000,
for White Paper on use of funds
Mufti for White Paper on use
JAMMU, Jan 18 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has demanded a White Paper by the Centre on the quantum of funds released to Jammu and Kashmir and its use.
The Mufti, told newsmen here today that the current cash crunch in the state was the result of financial "indiscipline" on the part of the State Government. He said the funds allocated for development works had been diverted to other sectors, mostly on non-productive schemes.
"Was purchasing an aircraft for the Chief Minister a priority? Was it a priority to raise new golf course in Srinagar, when three courses existed in the valley? Was it a priority to hold winter games and spend Rs 18 crore on it?" The Central Government should constitute a monitoring cell to keep a watch on the utilisation of funds, he suggested.
The Mufti supported the demands of the employees. He said it was mandatory on the part of the State Government to implement the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission. He said the State Government had reached an agreement with the employees several months ago. Now instead of giving the employees their due, they were being lathicharged. The Essential Services Act had been invoked to muzzle their voice.
He said neither the State nor the Centre could ignore the fact how they kept the state administrative apparatus functioning when insurgency was at its peak and when politicians of major political parties fled from Kashmir.
The State Government should negotiate with the employees as the month-long strike had caused hardships to the people. He said that State Government was the main employer. But the State Government encouraged backdoor entry into different government offices. Those with merit and experience were being ignored. Less deserving youth were being given jobs. He alleged that this was being done for pecuniary gains by National Conference leaders, including ministers and legislators.
He said in January 1998 the strength of Government employees in the State was 2.76 lakh, excluding 30,000 daily wagers. This figure shot up to 3.56 lakh permanent employees and 90,000 daily wagers by the end of December 1999. He said this recruitment drive had inflated the wage bill by 100 per cent and hence the State Government was at a loss when the employees demanded their due.
The Janata Party chief, Randeep Singh Parihar, has demanded that the Chief Minister D. Farooq Abdullah should resign for having failed to deliver goods.
Meanwhile, on the 27th day of their strike employees squatted outside several Government offices they raised anti-Government slogans.
The Employees Joint Action Committee has decided to continue the strike till January 25. In case the Government did not concede their demand for release of two instalments of DA and arrears of the Fifth Pay Commission, the employees working in the essential services sector too may join the strike.
The state team headed by
the Governor and the Chief Minister, is said to have
renewed its request to the Centre to release some funds
so that employees demands could be conceded and the
State saved from another turmoil.
J & K staff stir is month-old
JAMMU, Jan 18 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir state employees strike entered 30th day today as several thousand government servants demonstrated in the winter capital and other district headquarters of Jammu division to protest imposition of the Essential Services Maintenance Ordinance (ESMO) in the State.
The striking employees raised anti-government slogans and demanded release of the Fifth Pay Commission arrears besides payment of two instalments of dearness allowances due to them, reports reaching here said.
Police and CRPF contingents continued to be deployed in the city and other places to tackle the situation. However, no arrests were made today.
So far, over 300 government employees, including 12 union leaders, have been taken into custody since the ESMO was invoked on January 12.
As the strike entered the 30th day today, government offices and Civil Secretariat continued to wear a deserted look with employees absenting from work under the directions of the Jammu and Kashmir Employees Joint Action Committee (JKEJAC), which is spearheading the current strike.
Nearly 3.70 lakh State Government employees, who started their kaam chhor (no work) strike had forwarded a 17-point charter of demands to the government.
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