Chandigarh:  Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today demanded the Congress government take up the Punjab Adhoc, Contractual, Daily Wage, Temporary Work Charged and Outsourced Employees Welfare Act, 2016 for immediate implementation even as he condemned the brutality being inflicted on contractual employees who were agitating for regularization of their services.

In a statement here, the SAD President said it was shocking that the Congress government had refused to regularize 30, 000 contractual employees since the last four and a half years even though the party had promised the same in its election manifesto. He assured contractual employees that the SAD would agitate and force the Congress government to implement these promises failing which their services would be regularized once an SAD led government was formed in the State in 2022.

Mr Sukhbir Badal said the erstwhile SAD led government had decided that services of ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ group of employees who were working on an adhoc, contractual, daily wage, temporary, work charge or outsourced basis under State government entities for more than three years would be regularized by the State government or its entities. He said the Act had been notified in the Punjab Government Gazette on December 24, 2016 but as the general election was announced in the first week of January, 2017 the same could not be implemented.

Mr Badal said it was shocking that after taking over the reins of the State, the Congress government instead of regularizing these employees had ignored their genuine demand and refused to hold any talks with them. “Agitating contractual employees including those of the education department and health department have been lathi charged and even women employees have been manhandled. Recently contractual women teachers were met with water cannons and canes when they tried to approach chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to represent their case to him. The chief minister had refused to meet the agitating employees and the government attitude is such that recently when 9, 000 contractual employees working under the National Health Mission demanded regularization of their services as many as 1, 000 employees were terminated. “This was done to employees who worked under trying times during the period of Covid pandemic in the State”, he added.

Asserting that the Congress government was anti-employee, the SAD President said employees have been discriminated against in this government since the last four and a half years. “First the Pay Commission was deliberately delayed for four and a half years following which employees were given a raw deal with their allowances being reduced and even stopped under the new Pay Commission”. He said services of thousands of employees were terminated on flimsy grounds and their posts made redundant to escape filling them. “Capt Amarinder Singh promised 25 lakh jobs to the youth of Punjab besides an allowance of Rs 2, 500 per month for unemployed youth. The government has chosen to give jobs only to its favourites including sons and relatives of Congress legislators and leaders”.

Mr Badal said the party would raise this issue forcefully in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha session. “We will also demand a special discussion on this issue in the assembly so that appropriate law could be made to regularize the services of around 30, 000 contractual employees”

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