Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Member of Parliament from Anantnag (Retd) Justice Hasnain Masoodi on Wednesday sought immediate disbursement of pending wages of contractual lecturers, daily rated workers of different departments particularly local bodies employees.
Party’s Member of Parliament while expressing shock over holding back of wages of employees said it is agonizing to see people, who are fighting the battle for us against COVID-19 sprawl, crave for their due wages and emoluments. “Most of the employees, whose wages have been withheld fall in the contractual category. These people are already cash-strapped and as a norm have to wait for days and months to get their salaries credited to their accounts. The wages they get are also not as much of to cater to their needs, however, the amount helps them to provide for the basic necessities of their families. It is unfortunate that these people go hungry for days in order to ensure that their children have one. How are these inopportune families going to spend on basic sanitation amidst COVID-19, when they have a hard time ensuring themselves and their families’ adequate meals? It is highly improper of the government to shut its eyes to the burgeoning miseries of these employees. Why is it that these people are always on roads demanding disbursement of their wages? Most of these employees work in local bodies and are presently working on ground to ensure effective facilities to households across J&k. The government should have prioritized disbursement of salaries to them on time; contrarily the wages have been withheld for the reasons better known to the government. Ideally, the government is supposed to acknowledge their efforts and take care of their interests. At this juncture the government is supposed to pay over the odds for their efforts towards combating the viral-out break,”he said.
Masoodi said that he has been receiving distress calls from such employees, “The Functionaries of Municipalities and Municipal Committees are complaining that they are also being starved for other emoluments, though SDRF funds have sufficiently been released in favour of Deputy Commissioners. One fails to understand what holds the administration back to release the impending dues in favor of the employees who are battling the problem on ground. We are going through challenging times and Local body’s staff is at the front of the battle against Coronavirus and responsible to keep our neighbourhoods clean. Having them hanker for their basic wages and remuneration will dampen their resolve and render them handicapped to provide for their own families. The government should have made it a point to care for their families at a time when these ground staffers are out battling on the ground for the safety, and comfort of the entire society.”
He urged the government to disburse the pending wages of government employees both contractual and regular. He also urged the government to give additional benefits like bonus amounts to such employees as are coping with the crises on ground. “The lockdown is inevitable in wake of the spread of a global pandemic; it goes with saying that it is an extraordinary situation we are going through. The challenges that the outbreak has thrown at us needs ramped-up efforts that should include financial support to the daily wagers, cabbies, hawkers, laborers and other poorer section of the society,” he said.
Masoodi also extended warm greetings to people on the eve of Shab-e-Baraat and urged the people to abide by the COVID-19 protocol and concerned government advisories.