6th, 7th Pay Comm benefits yet to be extended

Retirement brings no solace to JKTDC employees

Irfan Tramboo

SRINAGAR, Dec 30: Dedicating the prime of their youth for the service, hundreds of retired non-pensioner employees of the J&K Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC), are struggling for the arrears promised under 6th and 7th Pay Commissions.
The employees, 300 across J&K and 136 belonging to Kash-mir valley, have worked in dif-ferent capacities with the department for more than 40 years, and were set to get the benefits of twin Pay Commissions, but all they are getting, what they called as, hollow promises.
The aggrieved employees recently met with Advisor of the Governor, K K Sharma, who then called the Managing Director of the Tourism Department, who assured him that their (employees’) issues will be resolved within one month. However, the affairs remained the same.
Half a dozen of such employ-ees told Excelsior that the Finance wing of the Department has been creating the hurdles in getting their arrears released. “It is they who are not clearing our cases. They are creating the hur-dles; even the COLA arrears were not released to us which are pend-ing since 2006,” said Muhammad Yaseen who has worked with the department as Senior Manager, adding that they are being told to move the Court-the allegation which was termed as ‘not true’ by the JKTDC.
Managing Director, JKTDC Asghar Hussian told Excelsior that the Corporation was looking at the resources and that it will get the issues resolved soon. “We are looking at the resources and are trying to do whatever we can. Many such cases have been taken care of and lot more has already been done for them,” he said.
With their job being non-pension in nature, the retired employees have pinned hopes on the release of the arrears and said that they had thought that the benefits provided to them would help them in their old age.
“We could have used the ben-efits for the education of our children; they are to be married off-we had all eyes on the arrears to be given to us; but nobody is paying any heed to us,” said an-other employee, Nazir Ahmad Trag having worked with the department as Assistant Manager.
The employees said that majority of them who were working in the department and were entitled to the benefits, belong to the lower strata of the society. “Most of us were working as sweepers, waiters in the department and now if we are being told to approach the Court to secure what is rightfully our, then it is injustice and nothing else. We cannot afford the court cases at this point of our life,” said Mohammad Jabbar.