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Centre shuts 2 offices

The Centre has decided to close down two of its offices — Government of India Forms Store and Office of the Assistant Director (Outside Printing) — in Calcutta by April-end.

Both offices are functioning from Calcutta for the past 80 years and their closure will render at least 366 employees jobless.

The offices, under the ministry of urban development and poverty alleviation, have been supplying important forms printed by the Union government to all the Central offices in Calcutta and eastern India. All these employees will be forced to accept compulsory retirement by March, sources said.

The ministry had announced the closure of the two offices in the Gazette Of India (September 30 edition) and joint secretary of the ministry P.K. Pradhan also informed CPM member of Parliament Basudeb Acharya about the closure in a letter on September 24.

The ministry has decided to merge two other Central government presses in Howrah. The Government Of India Press (Forms Unit), located at Santragachhi, in Howrah, will be merged with Government Of India Press (Publication Unit) in the same area by March 31 and will be known as Government Of India Press, Santragachhi.

In his letter to Acharya, Pradhan said the Centre has plans to modernise all its presses and merge some of the smaller ones across the country. The modernisation will cost the Centre around Rs 21 crore.

Sources said another press run by the Centre on Temple Street, in central Calcutta, will be revamped by March. The director of printing of the Central government has already stopped allotting jobs to the Temple Street press in order to hasten the process of modernisation, sources said.

The Joint Platform of Action (JPA) of the Central government employees has decided to oppose the move to close down the twin offices.

The JPA will hold a weeklong demonstration in all Central offices from November 21. Sources said members of Parliament would be asked to take up the matter in Delhi.

nPen-down strike: The pay and accounts offices of the Central government departments are observing a pen-down strike from November 11 to protest the transfer orders of 12 employees.

This has resulted in dislocations, especially since pay-day falls on November 29. “All payments are disrupted due to the strike. The additional deputy controller of accounts sent a fax from New Delhi on November 19, instructing all departmental offices to send their salary bills and monetary claims directly to it by courier and receive payments, instead of sending them to offices in Calcutta,” said a Central government employee, on condition of anonymity.

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