Employees cheer over J&K govt's move to pay allowances

Employees cheer over J&K govt's move to pay allowances

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Girish Chandra Murmu. (PTI Photo)

 The decision of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (UT) government to pay allowances to its employees at par with the Central government employees has brought smiles on the faces of lakhs of workers in the Valley.

The UT government on November 28 issued orders for payment of central allowances to its employees, which were not applicable to them earlier. 

“It is a good gesture from the Center after its unilateral decision of revoking J&K special status under Article 370 and bifurcating the erstwhile state into two union territories on August 5,” said Riyaz Ahmad, a government employee.

He said for the last four months, the government has been making claims that the decision to revoke Article 370 was taken for the benefit of people of J&K. “Time has come when the Center needs to prove its claims on the ground. Releasing special allowances in favour of employees could be a beginning. Providing employment to lakhs of educated youth must be the next target,” he said.

Ahmad whose two children are in school will now get Rs 2250 per month per child as education allowance under the new order. “Political issues are the domain of politicians. For common people like me, raising our children and giving them good education is a priority,” he said.

His views were echoed by another employee Saima Khan. “Women with disabilities will be paid Rs 3000 per month as a special allowance for child care from the time of the child’s birth until he/she attains the age of two years. We live in a welfare state and such schemes are need of the hour,” she said.

Hostel subsidy, transport allowance and incentives for acquiring fresh higher qualification are some of the other incentives which UT government employees will be getting under new pay policy. The government will bear an estimated cost of Rs 4800 crore annually for releasing these central allowances in favour of J&K government employees.

From the last two days in most of the government offices, employees have been discussing the benefits of the new allowances, which will be paid to them from November onwards.

However, there is another section of employees who feel that the decision to pay special allowances to them was taken so that the real attention of people of Kashmir is diverted from the real issue. 

“Kashmir is a political problem and needs a political solution. For the last seven decades, New Delhi has been trying to give sops to Kashmiris to divert their attention from the real issue. However, till now it has failed and there is every possibility that it will fail in future as well,” said a college professor, who wished anonymity.

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