No relief: Govt workers protest price hikes, demand raises

Staff members of E&T took part in APCA’s protest against government’s decision to not increase salaries of government employees. PHOTO: RIAZ AHMED, SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

Staff members of E&T took part in APCA’s protest against government’s decision to not increase salaries of government employees. PHOTO: RIAZ AHMED, SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

LAHORE: The Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) and the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) have strongly reacted to the federal budget announced on Wednesday.

They say the new budget has provided no relief to government employees.

In a statement issued on Friday, the PTU said it would protest against the budget in front of the Provincial Assembly on Saturday. They said the budget failed to show any concern for the welfare of government employees.

PTU General Secretary Rana Liaquat Ali said the government employees had been ‘abandoned’. “Not only have they failed to revise our salaries, they have also failed to control prices,” he said, “How does the government expect us to make ends meet?”

He said government employees would have to deal with price hikes and indirect taxes without a proportionate increase in salaries. The PTU, Ali said, was concerned about the government’s decision not to revise the house rent allowance. The current allowance for house rent was in accordance with the 2008 pay scale revisions. Teachers posted in urban areas were given 45 per cent of their basic pay as house rent allowance while those in rural areas were given 30 per cent of their base salary.

The general secretary said the government school teachers’ medical allowance was a pittance. Those teaching grades 1 to 15 had a medical allowance of Rs1,000 per month, he said. “Considering the recent price hike, the allowance is a joke,” he said.

According to the statement, the PTU will stage a sit-in in front of the Provincial Assembly to protest against the budget. More than 90 members of the PTU’s Lahore district body are expected to join the sit-in.  The union hopes to convey its concerns to the provincial government. The PTU has also announced an all Punjab district meeting for June 19, to evaluate the implications of the provincial budget.

Clerks demand raises

On a call by the All Pakistan Clerks Association’s, all offices of the Excise and Taxation Department remained closed in the city on Friday.

Staff members took part in APCA’s protest against government’s decision to not increase salaries of government employees.  The Excise and Taxation head office in Shadman and offices in Model Town and Fareed Kot Road remained closed the entire day.

Due to the suspension of work, several people waited outside the offices to submit their vehicular taxes.

Excise and Taxation Officer Muhammad Zaka said the government’s policy was not fair. “We wait an entire year for a raise in salary,” he said. This is the only source of income for most of us, he said, “Our salaries must be raised in proportion to the inflation rate.”

Source: The Express Tribune

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