JAMMU, DEC 22: In a significant initiative which will provide major relief to thousands of daily-rated, casual, seasonal and other such workers, the Government has issued the much-awaited notification to formally set into motion the process for their regularization.
“Jammu & Kashmir Casual and Other Workers – Regular Engagement Rules 2017” outlined in SRO-520 issued by the Finance Department last evening will benefit nine categories of such appointees including daily-rated, casual, seasonal, HDF (Hospital Development Fund) and local fund workers, NYCs, land donors and ad-hoc/contractual appointees left-out under the J&K Civil Services (special provisions) Act 2010 for want of eligibility criteria. The policy will also take care of ITI trained workers engaged by various Departments.
“During the previous budget session, the government under the leadership of Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti made a commitment on the floor of the House that the process for regularization of casual workers of various categories, whose fate was hanging in balance for decades, will start from the next financial year and today we have fulfilled that commitment,” said Dr Haseeb Drabu, Minister for Finance.
According to the SRO-520, these workers will be categorized as Skilled and Non-Skilled on the basis of their educational, technical and professional profile, for regularization and the remuneration will be commensurate with the length of their engagement.
The regularization process would begin immediately and on regularization they shall be designated as Government Services Assistants (GSA). They will be entitled to all the financial and service benefits including annual increment, pension under NPS, leave and medical reimbursement, periodical hike in remuneration akin to pay commission, maintenance of service records and will be covered under work, conduct and discipline rules, including retirement.
The skilled workers whose period of engagement is above 10 years and upto 15 years would be initially entitled to remuneration of Rs 13000 per month, while those having more than 15 years of engagement period and upto 20 years would get Rs 18000 per month. Those skilled workers who have worked for over 20 years would get monthly remuneration of Rs 24000.
The Un-Skilled workers whose period of engagement is above 10 years and upto 15 years would be initially entitled to remuneration of Rs 10000 per month, while those having more than 15 years of engagement period and upto 20 years would get Rs 15000 per month. Those un-skilled workers who have worked for over 20 years would get monthly remuneration of Rs 20000.
The cut-off date for regularization, as per the SRO, has been set 17.03.2015, when the powers to make such engagements were withdrawn by the Government.
According to the SRO, the prospective workers for regularization should be state subjects of J&K, possessing minimum educational qualification of 8th standard or above, on the date of their initial engagement, their age should be within minimum/maximum age limit as prescribed for appointment in the government service, they must have completed 10 years of continuous working, they must be continuing in the department as on date and their conduct must be satisfactory and no disciplinary proceedings should be pending against them.
“The provisions of Article 35-A of the J&K Civil Service Rules will apply to a CSLW in respect of determination and verification of age. The concerned Administrative Department will have the powers to grant relaxation in the age/qualification for regular engagement of a CSLW on case to case basis,” the SRO states.
The Government would set up an Empowered Committee in the Finance Department to recommend creation of commensurate positions of General Service Assistants after proper scrutiny of proposals from the concerned Departments.
The Administration Secretary, Finance would be Chairman of the Committee. The Members will include Administrative Secretary of the concerned department or Representative not below the rank of Special Secretary, Administrative Secretary GAD or Representative not below the rank of Special Secretary, Administrative Secretary, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs or Representative not below the rank of Special Secretary and Director (Codes), Finance Department.
The NYC workers will initially be re-engaged on the wages, which were paid to them before their disengagement. The orders of their re-engagement will be issued by the Youth, Services and Sports Department. The NYC workers will be entitled to regular engagement on the pattern of a CSLW on the completion of prescribed period of continuous service after clubbing their service rendered earlier as the NYC workers.
The land donors, who have donated their land free of cost to the Government, will be eligible for engagement as casual workers on the recommendations of a Committee to be constituted by the concerned Administrative Departments and to be headed by the concerned Administrative Secretary.
“The cases of land donors, who have donated land after 31.12.2001 up to coming into force of these Rules only will be considered. The minimum land donated should be one kanal of proprietary land and it should be legally mutated in favour of the State Government,” the SRO said.
It added the left out adhoc/contractual/consolidated workers, who were not entitled to regularization under the provisions of J&K Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act, 2010, will also be considered for regular engagement at par with casual, seasonal and daily rated workers subject to fulfillment of eligibility criteria.
Regarding Hospital Development Fund and Local Fund Workers, the rule will mutatis mutandis apply to them subject to fulfillment of prescribed eligibility criteria. However, they will continue to be paid from Hospital Development Fund/Local Fund and the enhancement of their remuneration will be subject to availability of resources in the respective funds.
Pertinently, the state cabinet had, on October 23 this year, accepted the roadmap prepared by the high-level committee headed by the chief secretary for absorption/regularization of casual/seasonal labourers/daily-rated workers to ensure sustainable livelihood to hundreds of such workers engaged over a period of several years.
The cabinet had asked the Finance department to draft and issue the formal orders for operationalization of the roadmap.