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WORKERS AT the Government of India Text Books Press here in Chandigarh on Wednesday held a protest against the central government decision to shut down the press in the city. “This decision is not on merit and efficiency. Moreover, it has disturbed the regional balance as well as left the staff in the lurch, spread panic and fear of unemployment and homelessness in their middle stage of employment,” said Bhupinder Singh, general secretary of the workers association. According to the association, the Union Cabinet has decided to close down 12 presses situated in various parts of the country, including the one in Chandigarh, as part of a modernisation drive.
Singh said the Chandigarh press has an excellent track record and it caters to the needs of various government departments and security agencies in the city.
“At present, this press is fully loaded with printing orders of confidential nature from paramilitary forces. Keeping that in mind, the government had recently allowed the press to fill up the essential skilled manpower from open market on contract basis also,” the association said. The association has written a letter to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs secretary, requesting that the decision to shut the press be reconsidered and also sought a meeting with the latter to discuss the matter.