The clerks of various government departments protested in front of the parliament on Wednesday, demanding an increase in salaries and regularised employment. They pledged to use “street power” if their demands were not met.
Over 300 clerks from Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, National Highway and departments under the umbrella of the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) assembled at the venue carrying banners and placards inscribed with their demands and anti-government slogans.
They said that despite the duration of their service, the government is still reluctant to regularise them. They added that employees of other departments like education have been regularised and they are being discriminated against.
APCA Central President Nazar Hussain criticised the government for what he called its reluctance to seriously resolve the issues of clerks, who are the backbone of any government institution.
“Despite high inflation in the country, the government has yet to increase our salaries. It is difficult to meet expenses with [our salaries],” he argued.
OGDCL representative Muhammad Younas claimed that over 4,000 non-regularised employees are working in the department.
“How is it possible for a clerk to survive on a salary of Rs7,000 in these times of inflation?” he said.
Punjab Provincial President Zafar Ali Khan said the situation has only become worse since the current government came into power.
“They came with slogans of Roti, Kapra and Makaan but all three things have been snatched from the common man,” he said.
An APCA representative was in negotiations with the Minister for Religious Affairs Khurshid Shah when this report was filed.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.
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