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Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004

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Jayalalithaa reinstates all 999 dismissed Government employees

By S. Vydhianathan


CHENNAI, FEB. 10. All the 999 Tamil Nadu Government employees dismissed from service for taking part in a strike in July last year have been reinstated. However, they have to forego four annual increments with cumulative effect as a punishment for participating in the strike.

The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, announced the decision in the Legislative Assembly today to the thumping of desks by her partymen. She also said that similarly employees demoted to lower categories would be restored to their earlier posts and their punishment reduced to two annual increment cuts with cumulative effect. Those who lost three annual increments would now lose one increment with cumulative effect.

Replying to a discussion on the Governor's address, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the employees went on strike despite the Government offering them benefits to the tune of Rs. 552 crores after several rounds of talks. Even after explaining to them that it would be difficult to grant more concessions due to financial constraints, the employees went on strike at the "instigation" of some political parties.

The Government decided to face the strike as it was of the opinion that the employees also should share the financial burden of the State like the common man. Subsequently, as per the orders of the three-member judges panel appointed by the Supreme Court, the Government initiated disciplinary action against them.

After the disciplinary action, many employees appealed to her to withdraw the action as they were "misguided" by some people. As she did not have any ill will or hatred towards them, the Chief Minister said, she decided to exonerate them and give them a fresh lease of life.

DA increase

The Chief Minister also announced three per cent additional dearness allowance with effect from February 1 for the Government employees, teachers and pensioners. Those getting a consolidated pay would be given additional DA as per the existing procedure.

This would cost the exchequer Rs. 201 crores more a year. She hoped that the employees would keep in mind the interest of the people and work more efficiently.

Ms. Jayalalithaa's announcement, withdrawing the dismissal order, comes as a great relief to the 999 employees who were dismissed from service under the Tamil Nadu Essential Services Maintenance Act.

Apart from them, 10 employees were compulsorily retired, one was removed from service, 66 were demoted to lower categories and 4,132 employees lost three increments cumulatively.

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