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Maken `chargesheets' Jagmohan

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, APRIL 12. The Congress candidate for election to the Lok Sabha from New Delhi, Ajay Maken, today accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central Government of systematically marginalising the social security network of the Central Government employees and ignoring their interests by inhumanly freezing even those jobs that are given on compassionate grounds. "The incentive for savings has vanished, the income tax limit remains stagnant and public sector undertakings are being privatised," he said.

Releasing an eight-point chargesheet against the Vajpayee Government and the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate, Jagmohan, at a press conference here, Mr. Maken said the last five years have been a saga of broken promises, betrayal and marginalisation of the lakhs of employees living in the New Delhi constituency and other parts of Delhi. The interest rate on General Provident Fund has been reduced to 8 per cent from 12 per cent. Despite having made a tall promise five years ago of raising the income tax limit, the BJP-led Government at the Centre had failed to do so. "It is sad that even the profit-making public sector undertakings were being privatised for no valid reason and the incentive for savings has virtually disappeared. It is a tale of total betrayal with the Government employees and the Vajpayee Government has ensured that the interests of the employees are clinically decimated."

Elaborating on the continued decline in opportunity, Mr. Maken, nephew of the late union leader Lalit Maken, accused Mr. Jagmohan of remaining a silent spectator to the problems faced by the employees. "He blindly followed the suppression agenda implemented by the Union Cabinet during the past five years and never raised his voice against this kind of ill treatment at the hands of the Vajpayee Government."

Raising the issue of the Sixth Pay Commission for the Government employees, Mr. Maken said despite the Fifth Pay Commission making a recommendation that the new Pay Commission should be put in place by January 1, 2003, no step has been taken in this direction. Instead, the provision of giving jobs to the kith and kin of the employees on compassionate grounds has also been removed leading to uncertainty among those serving the Government.

He said the Fifth Pay Commission had recommended that whenever the CPI increased to 50 per cent over the base index, the Dearness Allowance should be converted into Dearness Pay. The CPI touched 52 per cent on July 1, 2002 but the Cabinet, which included Mr. Jagmohan, did not implement the recommendation. However, after the loss in the Assembly polls in Delhi, the Central Government agreed to declare 50 per cent Dearness Allowance as Dearness Pay but from April 1, 2004, instead of July 1,2002.

The Fifth Pay Commission had also recommended restoring commuted portion of the pension after 12 years, instead of 15 years. This was being done in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Orissa but has not been done by the Central Government. On the other hand, Mr, Maken added, it was unfortunate that despite having made the promise to raise the income tax limit in its previous manifesto, the BJP-led Government did nothing in this regard. Instead, it reduced the incentives to save and reduced rate of interest of various schemes.

Flaying the new pension scheme, Mr. Maken said the social security provided by the Government to its employees after superannuation in the form of pension will no more be available to those employees who would be joining on or after January 1, 2004.

In the new scheme, the employees will contribute certain percentage of their salary towards the pension fund. He said there were many other issues that need immediate attention including setting up of a super speciality hospital for CGHS beneficiaries.

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