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Defence employees' meet begins today

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, DEC. 6. The fourth Federal Council meeting of the All-India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) will be held here on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the demands of civilian employees in Defence establishments. AIDEF general secretary C. Srikumar told presspersons here today that the main demand was that the employees should be treated on a par with Railway employees with regard to pay scales, leave and other service conditions.

The federation has expressed strong opposition to the implementation of the decision taken by the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government to allow 100 per cent private participation with 26 per cent foreign direct investment in Defence production. "Licences given to 16 private companies, including MNCs, should be cancelled and the existing ordnance factories and Defence labs should be fully utilised for developing hi-tech defence equipment," Mr. Srikumar said. The reports of the Nair Committee, which has recommended corporatisation and privatisation of ordnance factories, and the Jaffa Committee, which has suggested reducing the activities of the DGQA and the MES, should be scrapped, he said.

The other demands of the employees include lifting the ban on recruitment, immediate constitution of the 6th Central Pay Commission, implementing pending arbitration awards, including payment of HRA arrears and A-1 status for house rent allowance and city compensatory allowance for employees in all cities whose population has crossed 50 lakhs.

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