Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh, while presiding over the Silver Jubilee Convention of the State Level Pensioners Welfare Association at Hamirpur today, announced to constitute Joint Consultative Committee of the Pensioners within 10 days.
Expressing concern over the demands pertaining to financial benefits to be extended on Punjab pattern as is desired by maximum employees associations in the State, the Chief Minister said that the State just only follows Punjab pattern for extending financial benefits as per the recommendations of the Punjab Pay Commission for its employees and not merely on the decisions of any boards, corporations or administrative units.
He said that the State Government follows its own policies and schemes and it was not necessary that on demand of few employees associations and bodies, it follows the Punjab pattern.
He said that the State Government had extended much more benefits to its employees than to those working in boards and corporation in Punjab. He said that whatever is given by Punjab Pay commission is followed by the State and it was not binding on part of the State to follow all other benefits being announced by other administrative set-ups in Punjab.
“Our State employees or the few bodies and associations so formed should understand that we are a separate state and abstain from quoting Punjab pattern in every communiqué to the state government”, said Chief Minister. He said that whatever financial benefits the committees or few sub committees constituted in Punjab government announces, Himachal is not bound to extend those benefits.
The Chief Minister exhorted to place forth clear and genuine demands when it comes for financial matters. One should never quote the example of Punjab which is also not in good financial health. The State Government was capable enough of adhering to the genuine demands of various associations and employees bodies, he said. He said that time has come when we should talk of the benefits the Himachal was giving to its employees.
Taking a jibe, he said that if Punjab Government makes compulsory to wear a particular dress for its employees, will the employees of the State adhere to this too.
He assured to look into other demands of the association sympathetically, however he agreed in principle to all their genuine demands.
He said that the Government was considerate to all the genuine demands of the pensioners and said that as per the budget assurances the State Government released 5%, 10% and 15% pension allowance to the pensioners aged between 65 to 70 years, 70 to 75 years and 75 years to 80 years respectively from 1st April, 2014 which was a long pending demand of the associations.
He lauded the efforts of Shri Jiwanand Jiwan for carrying out the responsibilities of the Pensioners Welfare Association.
Shri Jiwanand Jiwan, President of the association while speaking on the occasion thanked the Chief Minister for taking into consideration all the genuine demands of the pensioners. He said that the association was indebted to the Chief Minister for extending allowances and other benefits to the pensioners and their families from time to time. He also placed few demands of the association mainly pertaining to 25% additional pension to the pensioners who have completed 80 years of age and formation of Joint Consultative Committee besides other demands.
Shri Hari Chand Gupta General Secretary of the Association detailed about the role of Pensioners Welfare Association and highlighted the achievements. He also welcomed the Chief Minister and other distinguished guests on the occasion.
Shri H.R. Vashist, Senior Vice President also spoke on the occasion.
Shri Shiv Kumar, Senior Vice President proposed vote of thanks.
Shri Ram Swaroop Chauhan, President, Pensioners Welfare Association Sirmaur and Shri Jagdish Dinesh, General Secretary of Association, Bilaspur district presented cheque of Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 21,000 respectively towards the Chief Minister Relief Fund on the occasion.
A colourful cultural performance was also presented by the school children on the occasion.
Earlier, Shri S.K.Kaura District President of the Pensioners Welfare Association, Hamirpur welcomed the Chief Minister and other guests on the occasion.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Shri Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, MLA Shri Sanjay Rattan, Vice-Chairman HP Disaster Management Board, Shri Rajinder Rana, Former MLA Smt. Anita Verma, Smt. Urmil Thakur, KCC Vice-Chairman Shri Kuldeep Pathania, Chairman APMC Hamirpur Shri Prem Kaushal, DCC President Shri Naresh Thakur, District President Mahila Congress Ms. Rakesh Rani were also present on the occasion amongst pensioners from all over the State.