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Manipur Govt offices remain paralysed

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Feb 24 � Functioning of Manipur Government departments have remained paralysed for more than a month after State employees went on an indefinite cease work strike demanding implementation of the revised 6th Pay Commission.

Employees of the State Government launched the indefinite ceasework strike from January 16 last demanding payment of revised pay recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission with effect from January 2006 with travel allowance and dearness allowance. However, the State Government has cited fund constraints and proposed to implement the report from April 2010.

Services at almost all the Out Patient Departments (OPDs) of the State and district level health centres have also been severely affected for the 40th day of the strike today as Health employees also joined the stir. Functioning of the State-run JN hospital in Imphal East district was also affected.

�Employees of State Secretariat and essential services such as electricity and water supply are also expected to join the strike within a day or two,� Ch Chandramani, General Secretary of the Joint Administrative Council (JAC) of All Manipur Trade Union Council (AMTUC) and All Manipur Government Employees Organisation (AMGEO) told The Assam Tribune over phone today.

The indefinite closure of OPDs is expected to hit the districts hospitals in particular as there is is no alternative health care centres.

�We understand that the move will inconvenience the general public, but the State Government is responsible for it,� L Priyobartta, publicity secretary of the JAC added. Denouncing the prolonged and adamant silence of the government to their demand, he said that if the government does not still respond then the employees of government hospitals will cease all work from March 2 next.

How can we compete with the Central Government employees who enjoys 6th Pay Commission recommendations and extra allowances for their children�s education, an employee of State Information office felt.

But Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh is yet to respond to the demand as he had been appealing to the employees to reconsider their stand at this crucial hour of finalisation of annual plan expenditure as the State needs an additional amount of Rs 2,000 crore for paying arrears besides Rs 1,050 crore for paying salaries and Rs 250 crore for pension in a year. But his pleas could not convince the striking employees.

There appeared to be no immediate sign of an end to the strike as the government is yet to invite the striking employees for talks.

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