Government employees, on Tuesday, took out a procession to protest against the deduction of Kashmir Liberation Cess from their salaries, demanding the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government raise their wages to compensate for the price hike.
Hundreds of government employees from the district participated in the demonstration and boycotted their duties by locking up their offices. They blocked vehicular traffic by staging a sit-in for about an hour at Central Shaheed Chowk.
Addressing the rally, speakers lambasted the AJK government for its recent decision to deduct five per cent of the Kashmir Liberation Cess, a tax imposed to promote the Kashmir freedom struggle from salaries of government employees.
They said the tax added to the financial crunch they were facing because of the price hike and demanded an immediate withdrawal of the decision.
Protesters unanimously passed a resolution, demanding an immediate increase in salaries of government employees keeping in view the rising inflation. They have also asked for a special package of incentives in the upcoming fiscal budget for government servants serving across the country including AJK.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012.