Mandi : Employees of the State were backbone of the Government and play a major role in effective implementation of policies and programme of the State Government. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stated this while addressing the function, ‘Ek Shaam Mandi Ke Karamcharion Ke Saath’ organized by the employees of Mandi at Vipasha Sadan in Mandi today.
He said that the State Government had always maintained cordial relations with its employees as they play an important role in implementing the policies and programs of the government.
He said that the ratio of employees to its population was maximum in the State and despite the pandemic most of the issues pertaining to the employees were resolved during this period.
He said that despite the COVID-19 crises, the State Government had ensured full salary, pension and other benefits to the employees so that they do not face any inconvenience. He said that the period of regularization of contract employees was reduced from three years to two years and the period of the daily wagers was also reduced by one year.
Chief Minister said that the cordial relations of the State Government with its employees were not going well with the Congress leaders and a young Congress leader of the State even advised him to handle the employees with a tough hand, but he feels that what cannot be achieved with pressure can be achieved with compassion.
He said that the State Government had recently decided to constitute ‘Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas and Rozgar Nigam Company’ which would ensure deployment of skilled, semi-skilled and other man power in Government Departments, Boards, Corporations, Universities, etc. and this would provide much needed relief to the employees.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government had also decided to provide 50 percent concession on bus fare in HRTC buses to women, which would help lakhs of women employees working in Government and private sector.
He said that the Congress leaders even opposed this decision of the State Government. He said that now the congress leaders were misleading the employees of the State in the name of OPS. He said that this was not possible without the assistance and cooperation of the Centre Government.
Chief Minister said that on the auspicious occasion of Independence Day this year, the State Government had announced to release the first installment of arrears of revised pay scale to the employees and pensioners with effect from 1st January, 2016.
Arrears of revised pay scale would be given to lakhs of employees of Himachal Pradesh in September, this year, which would benefit about 2.25 lakh employees and 1.90 lakh pensioners of the state, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said that benefit of higher grade pay had been provided to 89 categories of employees by amending the pay revision rules issued on January 3, 2022 , besides providing benefits of UGC 7th Pay Scale to about 3,200 lecturers and professors working in various Universities and Colleges of the state.
An estimated Rs. 337 crore would be spent on the revised UGC scale from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2022.Chief Minister said that the daily wages of the daily wagers had been increased by Rs. 140.
In the year 2017, the daily wagers were getting Rs. 210, which had been increased to Rs. 350. He said that the contribution of NPS had been increased from 10 to 14 percent to benefit more than one lakh NPS employees of the state, besides providing them benefits of Death Cum Retirement Gratuity (DCRG) at par with OPS employees.
He said that the upper limit of gratuity had been increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh and the issue related to the NHM employees would also be resolved soon. He said that the State Government would also consider that the retirement age of all the Class-IV employees would be fixed at 60 years.
He announced Rs. 15 lakh for NGO Bhawan at Mandi and Rs. 2 crore for repair of government accommodation for employees at Mandi. The issue of HTRC conductors and employees of Zila Parishad would also be resolved soon. He said that the government would also consider reducing part-time period of Jal Rakshak from 12 to 8 years.
He said that the State Government had also approved revision in the rates, eligibility and ceiling of House Building Advance for employees and the maximum limit of House Building Advance would now be 25 times of the basic pay The Panchayat Chowkidars who had given continuous services for 12 years would be made daily wagers.
Chief Minister was presented a cheque of Rs 1,11,111 by the Employees Association Mandi towards the Chief Minister Relief Fund. Chairman Employees Welfare Board Ghanshyam Sharma said that the employees of the State during the last about five years had always stood firmly with the State Government and the Chief Minister.
He said that despite the pandemic the employees were provided all their dues by the State Government. President State Employees Federation Ashwani Thakur said that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had always adopted a friendly attitude towards the employees of the State during the last about five years.
He said that all the genuine demands of the employees had been fulfilled. The employees of the State were provided revised pay scale despite the testing times of Covid pandemic. He said that it was the congress government at the State that signed the agreement to stop OPS and start NPS and now the same leaders were claiming that they would again start OPS for the employees.
General Secretary of the NGO Federation Rajesh Sharma said that record financial benefits were provided to the employees of the State during this period. He said that financial benefits worth over Rs 16,000 crore were provided to the employees during the tenure of the present State Government.
He said that various issues pertaining to the employees hanging in fire were also redressed during this period.President NGO Mandi Chaman Thakur welcomed the Chief Minister and other employee leaders present on the occasion.
He thanked the Chief Minister for always being considerate towards various demands of the employees. He also detailed a few demands of the employees. MLA Mandi Sadar Anil Sharma, MLA Balh Inder Singh Gandhi, MLA Drang Jawahar Thakur, Chairman Wakf Board Mohd. Rajbali, Chairman Zila Parishad Pal Verma, Deputy Commissioner Mandi Arindam Chaudhary, SP Shalini Agnihotri were present on the occasion among others.