The newly elected Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is yet to be sworn it but anti-government voices seem to have already upped the ante. The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Employees Union and the PAU Fourth Class Workers Union held a huge protest rally and march on Monday,which began from Thapar Hall,went on to the Ferozepur Road and back into the university where a dharna was held.
The employees are protesting against the state governments apathy towards Punjab Agricultural University and its failure to pay the PAU employees who are still awaiting their salaries for the month of February. Paramjit Singh Gill and General Secretary Dr Gulzar Singh Pandher said that the employees are angry about the anti-PAU policies of the Punjab Government.
PAU Employees have not gotten their salaries for the month of February. Forty per cent of their arrears have been lying pending since May 2011. It is a matter of grave concern that the employees working in ICAR-funded schemes did not get the salaries for the month of January 2012, said Gill. He warned that in case the Punjab government did not act fast,our agitation will be intensified further for which the Punjab Government and PAU authorities will be responsible.
The senior vice-president of the union,Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu,added,The crisis of PAU is deepening day by day. PAU is unable to pay salaries and pensions,what to talk of other responsibilities/ facilities. The Punjab government should take serious note of the situation. If the agricultural economy of the state is to be revived,then PAU will have to be saved. The Punjab government must give a need-based grant to PAU.
He added,We have been left with no option but launch a protest as requests and talks with the officials of the state government have failed. The state government knows that the fiscal health of PAU is not too good and it has been promising all this time that it will come up with a package for the university. But these have been just hollow promises and nothing more.