Gram Panchayat demands for a deficit amount of Rs. 390 crore for the payment of the workers.
By Archita Srivastava
Gram Panchayat employees and D class workers like sweeper, waterman, etc. were on a strike this afternoon as their salaries and wages are pending from last three months.
There were 200-300 workers of Gram Panchayat demanding hike and clearance in salary, they also do not have the facilities of Provident Fund (PF); the salaries are irregular and no facilities for the D grade workers.
Lokesh M, the waterman at Gram Panchayat complained, “We are not paid regularly. There is a lot of work to do but not enough workers. There’s no facility for us and no PF either. My salary is Rs. 1000, which should be increased to Rs. 2000 at least.”
Karnataka state Gram Panchayat workers association stated that the salary dues of Gram Panchayat workers including the entire grade B-D across Karnataka is Rs. 390 crore. They said that if this amount is added to the budget, the deficit payments can be done.
Gopal Krishna Alahalli, Gram Panchayat workers’ union president said during the protest, “We don’t have enough workers and employees as the vacancies are not filling up. The B and D grade workers have not received their salaries. There are pending dues that are not settled yet. The government is ignoring the issue from past 3 months.”
The workers are demanding 33 percent to 50 percent increase in their salaries. The B grade workers want their salaries to be hiked from Rs.12, 000- Rs. 15,000 to Rs.18, 000-20,000 per month. The D grade is demanding a hike from Rs. 12,000- 15,000 to 7500. They need the pending wages to be paid through Electronic Fund Management system (EFMS) so that their salaries debit regularly.
C Siddaramiah, Deputy Secretary, Zila Panchayat addressed the workers and stated the reliefs to them in upcoming months, “We had discussed about approval of all these issues regarding the Panchayat workers’ outstanding salaries. We’ll be working on this in the coming days, as the state budget is near and will try to balance the deficit amount.”
The pending dues also include the salaries of MGNREGA workers who have not received their payments from the past four months. This is also halting the rural job creation in the state.