Poorly paid D Group staff in GP in quandary

Govt order fixing minimum salary of Rs 5,000 not acted upon

As many as 1,800 employees are attached to gram panchayats in the district. Majority of them do not get minimum wages, and some get it irregularly. Their monthly salary range from a minimum of Rs 500 to a maximum of Rs 2,000. Clerks, bill collectors, valvemen, revenue collectors, computer operators, drivers and peons - all serve for a pittance.

Umpteen protests at district an state-levels failed to yield any result. All they got was empty assurances from the officers and elected representatives. The peanut amount they get as wages does not help in any way to meet the ends.

Following widespread protests, the State government directed all GPs to pay a minimum of Rs 5,000 per month as salary. The panchayats were also instructed to extend all the statutory benefits. However, the order has remained only on paper. After coming to know of this, zilla panchayat chief executive officer has sought information from the executive officers of all the taluk panchayats.

The CEO has sought details on enforcing the five circulars issued in between May 6, 2010 and March 14, 2011. He has sought a comprehensive report on the action taken to enforce the circulars. However, sources aid the taluk panchayat executive officers are yet to respond.

“The demands of the gram panchayat employees have not been met in spite of an organised struggle. We have staged protests at Chikkaballapur and Bangalore several times. Memorandums have been submitted to the chief minister. We are only getting hollow promises,” rued Siddagangappa, president of district Gram Panchayat Employees’ Association.

Honourary president of the Association B N Munikrishnappa said the Association will launch an indefinite day-night dharna in front of the official residence of the chief minister from June 6. He said the protest will not be withdrawn till the demands were met.

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