Darjeeling GTA contractual employees salaries to increase, jobs to regularise

Bimal Gurung
Darjeeling, Nov. 5: Bimal Gurung today said monthly salaries of the 5,000-odd contractual employees at the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration would be increased, provident fund accounts would be opened for them and their jobs would be regularised.
The hill body has around 5,200 contractual workers.
“I am aware of the rise in food prices. During the GNLF period (when DGHC was functioning), your salary ranged between Rs 1,800 and Rs 2,300. After the formation of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the salaries have increased between Rs 5,800 and Rs 11,000. The GTA will once again increase salaries,” Gurung said while addressing a gathering at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan here on the foundation day of Janmukti Astai Karmachari Sangatan, a Morcha-backed wing.
Binay Tamang, GTA Sabha member in-charge of personnel and administrative department, said the increased salaries would come into effect from April 1, 2015. The amount will be decided by GTA sabha.
The GTA spends around Rs 4 crore a month to pay salaries. Asked if the amount could be increased without state finance department’s approval, a GTA source said: “It is better to get approval of the finance department or, the GTA has its own funds and can dig into it.”
Today, Gurung said: “We will soon open PF accounts for all contractual staff.”Sources said GTA had written to the state regarding the PF accounts.
Gurung said the annual winter allowances of hill employees would be increased from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000. “Outstation employees (working in Gorkha Bhavan in Calcutta, Delhi and other places) will get city allowance of Rs 3,000 from now,” he said. Earlier, there was no city allowance.
Outstation employees will not get the winter allowance. Both winter and city allowances will be paid in December.
Gurung said: “Earlier, the Left Front had given a written assurance to regularise jobs of 3,472 employees but that never happened. If needed, we will approach court, even the Supreme Court for regularisation (of 5,200 jobs). According to the GTA agreement, a sub-ordinate selection board is to be formed for recruitment. The process to form that has started and a lot of people can get jobs. Somehow or the other, we will ensure regularisation in the next three years.”

Ahluwalia’s CM jab

Darjeeling MP and BJP leader S.S. Ahluwalia criticised the chief minister and state on Wednesday for acting against implementation of central projects announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It is unfortunate but true that chief minister and her government are not acting proactively to implement new projects taken up by the Centre.” He said the CM and state officials “did not encourage implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, a savings scheme for those who do not have bank accounts”. “The state has shown similar reluctance in adopting Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” Ahluwalia said at a news conference in Siliguri.
He said on November 7, the BJP would hold a public meeting in Siliguri. BJP state observer Siddharth Nath Singh, party state chief Rahul Sinha and he would be present. 

The Telegraph

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