Kashmir Indepth

Future of 1 lakh daily wagers uncertain
EJAC expresses displeasure over CS’s comments on regularisartion

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Oct 16 (KINS): At least future of one lakh daily rate wagers engaged by successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir are uncertain, who are awaiting their regularization for years.
There are around one lakh daily rate wagers who are working in various government departments since years and have been seeking regularization of their services.
Chief Secretary BVR Subhramanyam Thursday claimed that the regularisation of services has been misused in Jammu and Kashmir to get into the government jobs by backdoor entries, thus snatching jobs from genuine candidates.
“Regularisation of services is a big issue. Regularisation has been a way of misusing entry into government jobs, let us be very clear that regularisation was being used by those who had connections in power corridors to first enter as back door appointees, daily wagers, contractual and then get regularised. This has been depriving the genuine candidates’ opportunity to get into government services,” Chief Secretary said during a press conference of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha here.
“Regularisation is nobody’s right, there is Supreme Court ruling, you read the newspaper about it and how the Punjab High Court struck down the regularisation order. But at the same time we are not throwing them out of the jobs who are seeking regularisation, we are trying to do it in a systematic way by looking at various aspects including financial implications.”
Mushtaq Ahmad, who is working as a daily wager in one of the government departments, said the Chief Secretary’s comments indicate the government does not want to regularize daily wagers who are working for years.
“No doubt there have been backdoor appointments over the years. But the government should frame a policy to regularize those who have worked departments for years,” Mushtaq said.
Another daily wager Mohammad Sidiq said, “We don’t know what will happen to us. It is we (daily wagers) who run essential departments like Jal Shakti, Power Department, Health, and Municipality. Government should clear it if there is no requirement of daily wagers in departments.”
Employees Joint Action Committee Jammu Kashmir (EJAC) has expressed its dissent over the comments of the Chief Secretary of Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir regarding the regularization of casual labourers, daily wagers, ITI workers and other types of temporary workers.
President EJAC Fayaz Ahmad Shabnam said that it is quite unfortunate that all the casual labourers, daily wagers, ITI workers and other types of temporary workers have paid and are still paying the price for the misdoings of some persons. He emphasized on the fact that the services of the majority of these workers and labourers have been utilized under proper norms and regulations as established by the government from time to time. “Majority of these workers and labourers have been working in various departments for more than 25 years and are yet to be regularized. They have turned overage because of which they can’t apply to any jobs now. Their families are on the verge of starvation and they are being compelled to pull out their children from schools because of the non-availability of money to pay their fees,” he told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
“The casual labourers, daily wagers, ITI workers and all types of temporary workers are the frontline warriors in every calamity that has befallen over the people of J&K and are working on the same parameters and capabilities as that of regular employees and to regularize them is not only the moral obligation of the government but also the genuine right of them” he said.
Shabnam also put forth that the regularization of casual labourers, daily wagers, ITI workers and all types of temporary workers is not a new agenda of the association but it has been there since decades. “The previous governments have time and again made agreements with the EJAC leadership regarding the regularization of these workers but till now no positive outcome arose in this regard. Even the present government made promises to rehabilitate them including the implementation of Minimum Wages Act but till now that has not seen the light of day. Also these temporary workers have continuously been given a cold shoulder by the government which has forced the EJAC to come out on streets and protest for their rights time and again,” he said.
He further added that EJAC will continue to strive for the genuine rights of casual labourers, daily wagers, ITI workers and all types of temporary workers and will always stand with them till their genuine demands are not fulfilled.
He urged the government to shed off its step motherly approach towards these labourers and workers and view them through the prism of humanity so that they will get their share of justice for which they have sacrificed a lot over the past few decades. (KINS)

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