The representatives of contract employees from all over the State gathered at Ice Skating Rink, Shimla today to express their gratitude to Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh for reducing the contract period of contractual employees for regularisation to three years.
The historic decision would benefit around 40,000 contract employees who had completed three years contract service upto March 31 2017 and 30th September 2017.
They thanked the Chief Minister for taking this decision redressing their demand.
Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh while addressing the felicitation function organised by the contract employees union said that State Government was giving added priority for the welfare of every section including those employees who were considered as the backbone of government. “The Government was well aware of the demands of employees and I am happy to learn that there were thousands of contractual employees who were employed during the present tenure of the government”, he said.
“I have always been pro-employees, pro-labour and upkeep and welfare of poor and vulnerable section of society”, he said, adding that though Himachal Pradesh was a most developed State in the country, yet there were many financial constraints which had to be taken care of.
Hinting at Outsource Employees, he said that few others were left to be benefitted and the government would soon formulate a policy for such employees.
He said that besides providing one day casual leave to contract appointees after putting one month of service, 10 days medical leave and 5 days special leave would also be provided to them in a calendar year. A female contract appointee with less than two surviving children would be granted maternity leave for 135 days. Similarly the female contract appointee should be also entitled for maternity leave not exceeding 45 days, irrespective of number of surviving children.
This all has been done ignoring the financial burden, as we believe that benefits to employees was for the welfare of the state as a whole, he said.
The Chief Minister said that the employees were responsible for taking the policies and programmes of the government upto ground root level and for welfare of the poor and underprivileged and they should be given what they deserve at regular intervals.
Despite criticism from few, all congress MLAs were with the government decision. He said that those criticising the decision also knew at back of their mind that this was a bold decision. He exhorted the people to be aware of such people who should have come forward to support the decision taken in favour of contractual employees.
The step was not taken to achieve publicity but it was a decision taken for welfare of the contract employees. If I would have more resources, I would have done more for my employees, he said. Lastly, he said that much would be done in near future.
Irrigation and Public Health Minister Smt. Vidya Stokes while addressing the occasion said that the government had provided financial benefits of around Rs 2455 crore to the employees and a sum of Rs 910 crore to the pensioners during the present government regime. The grade pay of contract employees has been enhanced by 75 percent. Besides, the honorarium of daily wagers had been enhanced from Rs. 210 and the grant-in-aid of Panchayat chowkidars had been enhanced from Rs 2050 to Rs 2350 benefitting 3226 Panchayat Chowkidars.
State Youth Congress President Shri Vikramaditya Singh while addressing congratulated the contract employees union and said that issue was also taken up to reduce the contract period through the youth congress. He said that many messages from the contract employees and many others were being received through social media including facebook and on whattsApp number of the Chief Minister to reduce the contract period.
He appealed for siding with the congress in coming assembly elections to form such a government that cares for the benefit of the youth and the employees.
He said that though some issues were cropping up, but the government was seriously considering to form a policy for outsource employees also.
He said that the congress manifesto also had the provision of reducing the contractual period for regularising the contractual employees from six to five years, but the government had gone beyond the promise made in its election manifesto and had taken this historic decision despite extra financial burden on state exchequer.
Earlier, the President Contract Employees Union Suraj Chauhan after welcoming the Chief Minister said that it was the Congress regime under Virbhadra Singh which earlier reduced the contract period for regularisation to five years from six years and now to three. He also credited the same to Youth Congress President Shri Vikramaditya Singh, who played a pivotal role for taking up the issue with the government.
Chairman, Other construction workers welfare board, Hardeep Bawa, Chairman, APMC, Shimla, Mahendra Stan, President State Non-gazetted Employees Federation, S.S.Jogta, were present on the occasion amongst others.