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Jammu, Feb 28 (UNI) The clerical staff of various departments of Jammu and Kashmir have extended their ongoing agitation till March 1 here.

Demanding an increment in the salaries, a large number of government employees took to the streets and held a massive demonstration outside the Divisional Commissioner's office today.

Hundreds of employees of clerical cadre had launched the agitation demanding an increase in the pay packages.

They criticised the state authorities for their indifferent attitude, saying the government was deliberately maintaining a silence over the issue.

The employees have demanded an increase of pay grade of clerical cadre from Rs 3050-4910 to Rs 4000-6000, for senior assistants from 4000-6000 to Rs 4500-7000 and for head assistants from Rs 5500 to 9000.

The Accountants should also be given grade of 5500-9000 instead of Rs 5000-8000.

They said that over 90 per cent posts of head assistants lying vacant should be filled and secretariat training should not be kept as bar for promotion of senior assistants to the next post, the agitators said.

They also said that was only clerical cadre employees who were being discriminated.

Reacting to the demands of the government employees, Jammu and Kashmir Power Minister told UNI that the ''Government was always sympathetic to the employees but it would have to see the criteria and whatever it would be possible under the rule.

UNI VBH SK AS1449

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