TODAY -

JAC's stir enters 17th day, no solution visible
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 07 2018: As the cease work strike by Joint Administrative Council (JAC) of All Manipur Trade Unions' Council (AMTUC) and All Manipur Government Employees' Organisation (AMGEO) entered its 17th day today, most of the State Government offices, including the Civil Secretariat as well as those present in various districts of the State have been immensely affected by the strike.

Even though the cease work strike entered its 17th day, there has been no development concerning any dialogue or agreement between the State Government and the JAC, thus painting a bleak future for any possible end to the cease work strike.

According to information received by The Sangai Express from an official source, the Secretariat Finance Department (Pay Implementation Cell) has notified a meeting of the Fitment Committee, chaired by the Chief Secretary, on April 10, at the Chief Secretary's office chamber.

The source pointed out that the recommendation of the Fitment Committee regarding implementation of 7th pay in the State as well as various other issues will be discussed in the meeting.

The Committee has the Administrative Secretary (DP), Administrative Secretary (Law), Administrative Secretary (GAD) as members and the Administrative Secretary (Finance) as its member secretary.

The source explained that the previous Government gave approval to the 7th pay for the State Government employees and pensioners, in principle, and formed the Fitment Committee, chaired by the Chief Secretary, on December 16, 2016, with the aim of monitoring the details.

The committee held its first meeting on October 23 last year and held its second meeting on January 16, this year.

As per the recommendation of the committee, the State Government will have to cough up an additional Rs 1400 crore for providing the 7th pay recommendation to the 98,845 regular employees and 45,523 pensioners/family pensioners (also including the grant in aid body employees).

On the other hand, the general secretary of the JAC of AMTUC and AMGEO, Laitonjam Biken said that owing to the negligent attitude of the State Government regarding the cease work strike by the State Government employees from March 22, the employees decided not to step inside the office from yesterday.

Many Government offices faced great inconveniences today as many employees decided not to step inside the Government offices at Imphal West, Imphal East as well as various hill districts.

Lamenting the State Government's reasoning that there is no finance to implement the 7th Pay and questioning where the funds provided by the 14th Finance Commission went, Biken claimed that under the 14th Finance Commission, the State Government received a total of Rs 24,639 crore during the financial year 2015-16 to 2019-20 (five years).

Stating that the State Government's reasoning as to discuss implementation of 7th Pay after going through the award of the 15th Finance Commission is complete bogus, Biken informed that the 15th Finance Commission will begin from the financial year 2020-21 and asked whether the State Government employees should wait till then.

The JAC submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister, containing the 22 charter of demands, on March 8.The memo also appealed to the Central Government to provide an economic package to the State so as to ensure implementation of 7th Pay.

However, not a single word'statement concerning the demands of the JAC were made during the Prime Minister's visit to the State on March 16, Biken said and added that if the Prime Minister had spoken about implementation of 7th Pay or if the State Government had pressured the PM to do so, the current situation would have not been so dire.

Pointing out that the demand of the JAC is a legitimate and reasonable demand, the general secretary explained that if the State Government fails to implement 7th Pay in the State, the standard of living of the State will remain backward, even when compared to Nagaland (which is witnessing rapid rise in its per capita income).

He also urged the people and the employees to support the JAC's movement.

On the other hand, a meeting the executive members of Manipur Secretariat Services Association, ex-officio executive members, MSS Under Secretaries, has been scheduled for April 9 at the Secretariat conference hall, for discussing numerous demands, including implementation of 7th Pay.

According to a source from the association, issues concerning 15th Finance Commission, 7th Pay, the associations' proposed Black Badge protest, mass casual leave, half day cease work strike etc will be discussed during the meeting.

Manipur Secretariat Services Association may also launch various agitations/protests from April 11 in connection with implementation of 7th Pay in the State, the source added.


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