By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 4: More than 23 years after they were engaged, around 7,000 government employees are still eking out a living with a meager pay of Rs 7,500 per month.
The Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government, in its first term, had decided to regularize the services of those casual employees who were appointed on or before April 1, 1993.
In line with the decision, around 35,000 employees were regularized. However, around 7,000 muster-roll, casual and work-charged employees were deprived, allegedly due to laxity on the part of some departmental heads. In the meantime, the Supreme Court delivered a judgment, which brought the entire process to a halt.
In 2006, the apex court, in the case of Kartaka government versus Uma Devi, ruled that a temporary, contractual, casual or a daily wage employee has no legal right to be made permanent, unless he has been appointed in terms of relevant rules. The Assam Transport department has a bulk of such unfortute employees at 985, followed by PWD (782), Water Resources (668), Agriculture (25o), PHE (146), Handloom & Textiles (117) and Irrigation (107).
Sodou Asom Karmachari Parishad secretary general Basav Chandra Kalita said due to "technical problems" following the apex court ruling, the jobs of these 7,000 employees could not be regularized.
"However, we had asked the previous government to at least hike their salaries and bring it at par with grade IV staff. The then government did not act. We hope the new government will consider the demand," he said.