Goa Govt gives veiled threat to striking employees

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Panaji, Jun 13 (UNI) Unable to bear the heavy burden of the six Pay Revision Commission and the employees demand for payhike to bring parity with others, the Goa government is thinking of reducing the superannuation age from 60 to 58 as one of the options, even as the indefinite pen-down strike by the employees that began today paralysed the state administration.

Briefing mediapersons on the impact of the strike here, acting chief secretary Anand Prakash said Chief Minister Digambar Kamath had planned to meet the representative of the Goa Government Employees Association to resolve the imbroglio tomorrow.

''If the employees demand for higher pay scales to bring parity with others is met, it would leave an additional burden of about Rs 100 crore on the exchequer. This is apart from the likely burden of Rs 800 crore if the sixth pay report is implemented from January 1, 2006 to March 31, 2009,'' he said.

The annual plan size of the state as per budget estimates for 2008-09 was Rs 1,750 crore, including Rs 800 crore borrowings and Rs 250 crore plan grants from the Centre. The state's own resource thus remained at Rs 700 crore.

With no provision made in the budget estimates for meeting the sixth Pay Commission liabilities, the government will be forced to either curtail the annual plan size or increase taxes or take more loans. In the last option, the government will incur an additional burden of Rs 72 crore towards interest payment, he said.

The government, in consultation with the employees association, would take appropriate step in the best interest of the state soon.

The authorities, he said, had taken various steps to mitigate the hardships faced by the public as a result of the strike. He, however, appealed to the striking employees to withdraw the agitation as the government was seiged of their demands.

The government had as of now as many as 45,000 employees on roll other than those engaged in various government corporations and working after superannuation.

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