In an open letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, All India Congress Committee (AICC) National Spokesperson Dr Sravan Dasoju slammed the State Government for delay in implementation of new Pay Revision Scale (PRC), lack of Interim Relief (IR), non-enhancement of age for retirement, dysfunctional Health Cards and other promises made with the government employees.
“While these problems were brought to the notice of the government by the employees’ unions and opposition parties multiple times, but unfortunately, no attention was paid towards them and they have been kept unresolved for unknown reasons,” Sravan said in his letter.
Sravan reminded that the Chief Minister, on May 16, 2018, had promised that the State Government would act “employee friendly” and would review the pay and allowances of government employees.
An assurance was given that the Interim Relief (IR) would be announced on June 2, 2018, 5th State Formation Day and a new PRC, with a mandate to submit its report a week before August 15, 2018, would be set up. However, none of these promises are fulfilled even after one year, he said.
“It is highly unfortunate, that the State Cabinet, which met on June 18, 2019 neither took a decision on Interim Relief (IR) nor was any clue given on the implementation of PRC. As eyewash, yet another promise of introducing a ‘mysterious package’ was made with the employees.
The irresponsible approach of the State Government has been worsening the conditions for government employees that have direct impact on the very performance of the government. Even the Dearness Allowance is not being released on time.
The DA, which was due on 1st January, 2019 is yet to be released, while our neighbor state of Andhra Pradesh is ahead of us in terms of employee welfare,” the Congress leader said.
Sravan pointed out that previously, the State Governments have released Interim Relief (IR) in considerable percentage, pending implementation of PRC report/ recommendations. However, the present TRS Government has kept both IR and PRC unimplemented despite the lapse of due date long ago. The delay is abnormal causing heavy loss to over 4 lakh employees and 2.5 lakh pensioners. Therefore, he urged the Chief Minister to implement the new PRC with retrospective effect from 1st July, 2018.
Enhancement of Age for Superannuation:
The Congress leader said that about 23 State Governments in the country and the Government of India were implementing the age limit for retirement of their employees as 60 years. Even in Telangana State also, for All India Services Officers and a section of Telangana employees i.e., Class-IV, the retirement age is 60 years. Post-bifurcation, the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh is implementing the enhanced age limit from June 2014 itself.
In Judiciary and for teaching staff in professional colleges, the retirement age is 65 years. In view of the above, he said all the employees’ unions have been demanding since a long time that the State Government enhances the age limit of Telangana employees on-par with other states in the country and as well employees of Govt. of India.
“Since 1990s, the State Government enhanced the age limit for recruitment into services as 36 years for General Candidates and +5 years and +10 years for reserved candidates. Due to this rule, those recruited around 1994/1995 are getting retired, without completing even minimum service of 25 years.
A report of United Nation’s World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that the life expectancy of human being has enhanced considerably. Therefore, those in service need to be given extension to ensure that they get proper livelihood,” he said.
Sravan reminded that all the political parties, including TRS, Congress, BJP and TDP have promised to enhance the age limit and included the same in their election manifestoes too. Even after 6 months, the demand / promise is not yet implemented.
The employees, who are at the verge of retirement, are in a state of frustration with the attitude of Government. Hence, he said that the State Government should issue orders for this with immediate effect.
“It is pathetic to note that Employee Health Services (EHS) scheme has totally failed and no hospital is entertaining health cards issued by Government of Telangana. All the employees irrespective of their category are ready to contribute monthly premium towards EHS, if there is a financial crunch in the state government.
Strict instructions should be given to all the hospital managements in Telangana that on production of health card, cash less medical services shall be extended,” he demanded.
Cadre Strength of Employees:
The Congress said that due to re-organization of districts from 10 to 33, number of offices has increased. However, no proportionate ministerial staff was provided, which consequently increased the workload for staff to an abnormal level. This issue needs to be addressed immediately as the existing staff is under huge work pressure, which is leading to serious health problems.
He demanded that the cadre strength of employees be increased which should be proportionate to the number of Districts/ Mandals/ Villages across the Telangana State. “This will also address the problem of rising unemployment in Telangana. We also urge you to release a White Paper on the status of vacancies in the government departments,” he demanded.
Final Settlement on Retirement
“Restoration of Administrative Tribunal for quick redressal of employees’ grievances and abolition of the Contract and Outsourcing system should be ensured immediately. Further, on the day of retirement, an employee should get Gratuity, encashment of Earned Leaves and all other benefits towards Final Settlement.
Regrettably, the Final Settlement is being done inhumanely. Thousands of employees who have retired months ago are still waiting for final settlement of their dues. A system should be evolved to ensure that such instances do not recur, the Congress leader demanded.
Stating that employees of Telangana Government were eagerly waiting for the early redressal of their demands, Sravan urged the Chief Minister to prioritize the announcement of IR, implementation PRC and other demands raised by government employees. (INN)