Punjab govt employees protest against non-payment of pending dues

Chandigarh: Punjab government employees staged a protest here on Tuesday over non-payment of their pending salaries ahead of Diwali and raised slogans against the Congress-led state government.

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Saanjha Mulazam Manch, an umbrella body of 23 employees’ associations, held a protest march in Sector 17 here and criticised the government’s “apathetic” attitude.

“For us, the state government has gone bankrupt as it has failed to pay the dues of its employees,” Saanjha Mulazam Manch convener Sukhchain Singh Khaira said.

Earlier, the Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association held a demonstration at the Civil Secretariat premises and gave “alms” to the office of Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.

“If they are unable to give us our money, then their condition is no better than beggars. Therefore we decided to give ‘bheekh’ (alms) to the finance minister so that the state government can fill its coffers,” said Khaira, who is also the president of the Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association.

“During Diwali, government employees were expecting that the state government will give something to its employees. But to our utter dismay, the state government did not give anything,” he said.

Khaira said dues for the last 23 months have been pending and four installments of dearness allowance have also not been paid.