AJK Forest dept workers protest unpaid salary
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| 7/19/2017 12:00:00 AM
MUZAFFARABAD: Nongazetted employees of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Forests Department staged a rally on Tuesday to protest against the alleged non-payment of last month`s salary, asking the government make the people responsible for the lapse accountable.

The rally started from the department`s main offices along the Bank Road to the Press Club on the fif th day of employees` protest on the issue.

The employees chanted slogans against the accountant general and secretary finance and paraded along the main thoroughfare amid hot and humid weather.

According to Salik Rashid Abbasi, president of the nongazetted employees` association, the government had pledged to provide salaries for the month of June to all employees by June 22 as advance for Eid.

However, he claimed, employees of the Forests Department from a B-1 baildar to the B-20 Chief Conservator were not given their salaries before Eid.

The reason, according to him, was that the Forest Department employees were still drawing their salaries through manually prepared bills instead of computerised pay slips.

He said when a delegation of Forests Department employees held a meeting with secretary finance for release of their salaries before Eid, they were told that the government had just obtained a Rs 2.5 billion overdraft from the State Bank so employees could draw salaries under the computerised system and that the rest should wait until the release of next year`s budget.

However, the employees have not been paid their salaries more than two weeks into July which had created many problems for them.

`Denying salaries to low paid employees is a grave injustice, a cruelty, which must be compensated at the earliest,` he said.

Mr Abbasi alleged that even though the gazetted officers had not received last month`s salary, `most of them were however indifferent to the issue for reasons best known to them.

He called upon the Minister for Forests Sardar Mir Akbar Khan and the chief secretary to take serious notice of the matter and take appropriate action without delay. Staff Correspondent