DMK instigating stir by govt employees:Tamil Nadu Deputy CM
After explaining various steps the government took and the pay hike given to them, Panneerselvam sought cooperation of the government employees.
Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today charged DMK with instigating government employees, who are on a fast, pressing several demands.
DMK members staged a walkout, accusing the government of not coming forward for talks with the employees.
After meeting the protesting government employees, opposition leader in the assembly M K Stalin demanded that Chief Minister K Palaniswami hold talks with them and implement their demands.
Stalin, also the DMK working president, after meeting employees affiliated to Joint Action Committee of Tamil Nadu Teachers' Organisations- Government Employees' Organisations (JACTTO-GEO) referred to their demands, including implementing the old pension scheme.
Congress Legislature Party leader K R Ramasamy and the lone IUML member K A M Mohammed Abubacker backed Stalin's demand.
After explaining various steps the government took and the pay hike given to them, Panneerselvam sought cooperation of the government employees.(PTI).
He sought the support of the leader of the opposition and other opposition parties over this issue.
Stalin reiterated that talks should be held with the employees and he expected a reply from the Chief Minister.
To this, Panneerselvam said "he (Stalin) has spoken in a way instigating them..he has told them that this government (AIADMK) will not do it (fulfill your demands) and that only they will do it after coming to power."
Blaming the government for not holding talks like during the Tuticorin issue, Stalin said since the "government is not coming forward for talks we are staging a walkout."
Blaming the government for not holding talks like during the Tuticorin issue,Stalin said "since the government is not coming forward for talks, we are staging a walkout."
DMK, Congress, and the IUML member followed suit.
Panneerselvam reeled out statistics saying that about 70 per cent of the State's tax revenue is spent on salaries and pension for government employees, including teachers (12 lakh employees and 7.42 lakh pensioners).
About 24 per cent is spent on paying interest for loans secured to fund development work and only the remaining six per cent (along with the Central devolution of Rs 41,600 crore) is used to fund various welfare projects, he said.
"If the administrative expenditure is exceedingly high, it will not be possible to allocate funds for projects. All responsible government employees are well aware of this."
If government employees functioned by understanding this factor, "we can together do good to the people," he said.
Panneerselvam also referred to various benefits for the employees, including implementing increase in salaries (effective October 1, 2017, which entailed an additional expenditure of Rs 14,719 crore) and gratuity (to Rs 20 lakh from previous Rs 10 lakh).
He said a panel was looking into employees' grievances on pay anomalies and added that another committee set up to explore possibilites of reverting to the Old Pension Scheme was also set to submit its report.
Addressing pay anomalies and reversion to the old pension scheme are among the demands of the employees.
Panneerselvam said the Adiseshiah panel was set up only to examine ways to cut down revenue expenditure and not to downscale the strength of government employees.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami said it was wrong to say that talks were not held on the Tuticorin issue. He said talks were held for as many as 14 times by Tuticorin district authorities.
On the demands of the government employees, he said only on the receipt of reports filed by the committees to go into such issues whatever possible will be done.
Last month, a proposed march to the Secretariat byy government employees to press for their demands, including implementation of the 'old pension scheme', was foiled by police who detained 7,500 protesters, a move which drew flak from opposition parties.
They had held similar protests beginning last year over such issues.