Islamabad (May 25, 2011) – Blazing sun failed to demoralize hundreds of clerks and teachers, who gathered in front of the Parliament House and staged a sit-in protest to press the government for immediate implementation of the Pay and Pension Commission’s recommendations.
Rally was organized by the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) in collaboration with the Punjab Teachers’ Union and a large number of clerks and teachers participated in it.
Protesters were holding placards inscribed with the messages including ‘Give us Our Rights’, ‘Stop Financial Murder of Clerks’, ‘Government Should Cut its Own Expenses’ and ‘Fulfil your Promises’. They also chanted slogans for their rights and against what they termed the unjust policies of the government.
Addressing the protesters, APCA President Nazar Hussain Korai said: “There is no point for the government not to give relief to clerks when its own Pay and Pension Commission has recommended it.” “The Pay and Pension Commission has agreed to most of our demands, which shows that clerks are not unjustified in their demands,” he added.
According to information, the recommendations of Pay and Pension Commission include merger of ad hoc relief in salaries and their revision, increase in medical allowance up to Rs3,000, increase in house rent up to 70 per cent, increase in conveyance allowance up to 200 per cent, payment of group insurance at once after retirement, restoration of additional promotions which have been given on the basis of high qualification, the constitution of clerks foundation, Eid allowance for low-grade government employees and restoration of rest and recreation allowance.
Addressing the protesters, Punjab Teachers’ Union President Syed Sajjad Akbar Kazmi said that the government should at least implement the Rs7,000 minimum salary. “It is an unfortunate fact that a considerable number of our colleagues are still getting salaries as low as Rs4,000 to Rs5,000,” he said.
He said that today hundreds of clerks gathered in Islamabad in such extreme weather conditions just because of the fact that it was becoming impossible for them to live in their meagre income. “The report compiled by the Pay and Pension Commission, headed by Dr. Ishrat Husain, has been compiled after hectic efforts of 10 months. There is no point in negating the report of the commission, which has been constituted by the government itself,” he said.
Punjab Teachers’ Union Member Rana Liaqat Ali, while talking to this scribe, said that the inflation has increased manifold, but salaries and benefits of teachers remain the same. “The government has deprived the common man of his right to live. They can’t perform well under the current circumstances, which is ultimately having an adverse affect on the future of country,” he said. He said they hope that the democratic government would listen to their demands and immediately announce a relief package for clerks and teachers.