Agartala, Sept. 23: The Centre hasn’t constituted the Seventh Pay Commission yet but employees of central government departments posted in the Northeast are getting ready with their demands.
One of the primary demands is expected to be extension of special allowance for officials belonging to Northeast cadres to all sections of central employees. Currently, it is given only to IAS, IPS, IFS and IRS officers.
The Sixth Central Pay Commission had sanctioned a special Northeast allowance equivalent to 25 per cent of basic salary and 12.5 per cent special duty allowance, but only for IAS, IPS, IFS and IRS cadres of the Northeast on duty in the region. No other central government employees were covered.
“We find the current system of giving special Northeast allowance only to cadres of the four all-India services highly discriminatory. We want the benefit to be extended to all categories of central employees working in the region and we will raise this at the appropriate forum,” Jhuntu Dasgupta, general secretary of the employees’ association, said. He said recruitment for all central government departments was done through competitive exams and competent people join services.
“Besides, many employees from outside the region come to the Northeast on posting. Last year alone, 150 employees from outside the region joined the department of the Comptroller and Auditor General. If all employees are kept outside the purview of the special allowance except the cadres of four services, it is grave deprivation,” he said.
Apart from this, the association wants operationalisation of central government health service scheme in the region for all central employees and pensioners. It wants ILS hospital, Agartala, to be included in the scheme.
“We will also demand reservation of 50 per cent posts for people from the region in central services. In the last few years, 150 new employees have joined the CAG office in Agartala but only 1-2 per cent belong to the Northeast,” Dasgupta said.
Another sore point is the additional house rent benefit given to employees from outside denying the same to northeasterners for transfer within the region.