A day after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced her government’s decision to regularize 60,000 daily wagers and casual workers across Jammu and Kashmir, the Finance Department on Thursday said the proposed beneficiaries fall into nine categories who had been languishing in the past for nearly two decades.
They include daily rated, casual, seasonal, Hospital Development Fund (HDF) and Local Fund Workers, National Youth Corps (NYCs), Land donors, SPOs and ad-hoc/contractual appointees left out under the J&K Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act 2010 for want of eligibility criteria.
“Following the initiative of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Government has already approved the roadmap for bringing the daily wagers onto the rolls of government and the formal SRO in this regard will be issued by the Finance Department within a couple of days,” said Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu. Although skilled and unskilled workers are to be put in different scales of remuneration, it will correspondingly increase on the basis of their length of engagement, he added.
Meanwhile, a Finance Department official said that on the basis of their educational, technical and professional profile, these workers have been categorized as skilled and non-skilled for regularization and reimbursement of remuneration. “They will be in addition entitled to all the financial and service benefits including annual pay hike, the pension under NPS, leave & medical reimbursement, periodical hike in remuneration akin to pay commission, maintenance of service records and will be covered under work, conduct and discipline rules including retirement,” the official said.
The highest number of such workers have been engaged in PHE Department, followed by Power Development Department, School Education Department, Public Works Department, Irrigation & Flood Control Department, Forest Department, Health & Medical Education Department, Agriculture Department, Housing & Urban Development Department, Tourism Department, Animal Husbandry Department and Fisheries Department, the Finance Department said. There are such workers in other Departments also who will benefit from the regularization scheme.
Drabu had during the last budget session made a commitment on the floor of the house that the process for regularization of casual workers of various categories will start from the next financial year in terms of the set guidelines and criteria.
Pertinently, the state cabinet had, on October 23 this year, accepted the roadmap prepared by the high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary for absorption/regularization of Casual/Seasonal Labourers/ Daily Rated Workers to ensure sustainable livelihood to hundreds of such Workers engaged over a period of several years. The cabinet had asked the Finance Department to draft and issue the formal orders for operationalization of the roadmap.
Meanwhile, ruling Peoples Democratic Party has hailed the decision regularising over sixty thousand Daily wagers, Casual Labour and workers on a consolidated basis as “unprecedented” administrative measure from any government which will sufficiently contribute to Chief Minister’s resolve for good governance. In a statement party vice president Mohammad Sartaj madni said that the resolution of this lurking issue brings relief to thousands of families and saves the career of workers who were faced with uncertainty and were hanging in the wilderness from years together.
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