| Members of the All Assam Karmachari Parishad take out a rally in Tezpur on Saturday. Picture by Eastern Projections |
Guwahati, June 14: Over 4.5 lakh state government employees of Assam are planning a massive agitation beginning Friday in demand of pay packages on a par with the central government employees.
The apex body of the employees, Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad, which had long tried to stay away from agitation to ensure a better work atmosphere in the state, has decided to end its seven-year long honeymoon with Dispur.
As a prelude to its movement against the government, the organisation will hold a statewide sit-in for three hours on Wednesday to protest the state pay commission’s failure to submit its report to the government within the stipulated time of one year.
The organisation’s secretary general, Bashab Kalita, today said they were forced to go on a warpath because of the government’s dilly-dallying.
The announcement to launch an agitation came a day after chief minister Tarun Gogoi said the process to provide the revised payscales was on. The employees organisation, was, however, in no mood to wait.
The organisation, after a conclave in Tezpur, decided to launch an agitation to press for its demand.
The sustained agitation by the employees’ organisation against the erstwhile AGP government in the late nineties was believed to be one of the causes for the defeat of the party in the 2001 Assembly elections.
But the organisation had by and large been co-operating with the Gogoi government.
In the last seven years, it had not gone into any kind of agitation.
“To create a conducive atmosphere for the employees to work and teachers to teach, we wanted to create an agitation-free culture in the state. All these years we had co-operated with the state government in all aspects. But now the situation is beyond tolerance,” Kalita said.
The five-member pay commission, under the chairmanship of retired bureaucrat Bhaskar Baruah, was constituted by the state government on May 13 last year to recommend the new payscale for state government employees.
The commission was to submit its report within a year, but has not been able to do so.
“The government should now pressure the commission to immediately submit the report and accordingly the revised payscale should be introduced,” Kalita said.
He said many other state governments have already introduced the revised payscale for their employees to bring parity between the central and state government employees.
“It is unfortunate that even after the lapse of a year, the state pay commission has not been able to submit its report to the government,” Kalita alleged.
The central executive of the organisation will meet on June 18 to chalk out its course of agitation, he added.