Non-implementation of GO 63 leaves gram panchayat workers in penury

Non-implementation of GO 63 leaves gram panchayat workers in penury
Highlights

The non-implementation a GO, issued by the Telangana government enhancing wages of gram panchayat workers, has left the lives of as many as 50,000 workers in penury. The government, following the directions of High Court, had issued the GO No: 63 in August 2016 enhancing minimum monthly wages of part-time workers from Rs 1,623 to Rs 4,000. For full time workers, the wages were enhanced from Rs 2,

Hanamkonda: The non-implementation a GO, issued by the Telangana government enhancing wages of gram panchayat workers, has left the lives of as many as 50,000 workers in penury. The government, following the directions of High Court, had issued the GO No: 63 in August 2016 enhancing minimum monthly wages of part-time workers from Rs 1,623 to Rs 4,000. For full time workers, the wages were enhanced from Rs 2,600 to Rs 5,000.

The court’s directions came in the wake of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) bearing No 136/2015 filed by Kazipet-based social worker and former member of SC/ST Commission, Rajarapu Pratap, who has been fighting for the cause for many years. The GO also enhanced the present cap on payment of salaries from 30 per cent to 50 per cent. However, the district-level officials are not implementing the same even as one and half year passed by since the GO has been issued, he complained here on Monday.

Speaking to The Hans India, Pratap said Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Department (PR&RD) constituted a committee in September 2015 for adoption of minimum wages and regularisation of services of the workers acting on the directions from High Court and National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

Subsequently, the committee met several times and presented its report to the government, recommending enhancement of wages. The government responded favourably and issued the GO 63. But the official apathy is affecting its implementation, he worried.

The issue is taken to the notice of Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Panchayat Raj and Rural Employment. The Panchayat Raj Commissioner issued memo to all District Panchayat Officers (DPOs) in the State on last December 16 asking a compliance report as it is an urgent matter involving the court.

The Commissioner even warned the DPOs that they will be held responsible for future consequences, in case of non-compliance with regard to the GO implementation. “We will wait till January 20 for the orders to be implemented. After that, we will be compelled to knock the doors of the court and may file a contempt of court petition. The court told us to approach it, if the government’s decision is not answering their expectations,” Pratap explained.

He said majority of the gram panchayat workers such as karobars, watermen, electrician and sweepers belong to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and non-implementation of the GO 63 is harming their interests. If the GO is implemented, it can also help nearly one lakh part-time workers serving in government departments.

“It is sad that none of the public representatives elected from reserved seats taken interest in the case of gram panchayat workers, who are from downtrodden sections. They need to raise their voice on the issues of lack of minimum wages, ESI, PF, pension to the workers serving for decades,” Pratap added.

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