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Battling for Pension Policy for decades , upset J&K Sports Council employees’ approach LG

Battling for Pension Policy for decades , upset J&K Sports Council employees’ approach LG

By Vishal Bharti

Jammu, Oct 10 (UNI) Battling for decades for the implementation of pension policy, the employees’ of autonomous body—Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council—have knocked the doors of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the president of the Sports Council—the highest body managing sports affairs in the Union Territory.
The employees comprising those who have retired and serving have been time to time raising the concern at several platforms seeking introduction of the Pension Policy.
“On many occasions, we have submitted to the Sports Council governed by the same rules as applicable to the government servants in the Union Territory but, we are struggling for the implementation of pensionary benefits for the last more than two decades,” sources privy in the Sports Council told UNI.
They further claimed that the J&K Civil Services Rules (CSRs) classification and appeal rules, pay rules are applicable to the employees of the Sports Council and they are paid gratuity, leave salary as per government rules at the time of their retirement.
“But, it is unfortunate that pensionary benefits are not available to Sports Council Employees’,” they said adding, employees of the Khadi Village and Industries Board (order no: 82 of 1993, Dated: 16-03-1993), J&K Industries, J&K Handicrafts Corporation, J&K Handloom Silk Weaving Factory (transferred from JKI to Handloom Corporation (under government order no: 35-Ind of 2018, Dated: 25-01-2018), State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) (all autonomous bodies).
Even, the employees of the Department of Youth Services of Sports, the sister concern of J&K Sports Council, are availing pensionary benefits but why step motherly treatment for Sports Council family?, he questioned.
“J&K Sports Council employees are giving golden period of their life for upliftment of sports and sportspersons career and they are with same facilities like pensionary benefits who are absorbed in government services but those who are sweating hard to shape future stars, are facing hardships in later stage of the life,” said the employees.
“The Jammu and Kashmir High Court in a judgement (no:2117/2018 titles Nazir Ahmad and Others V/s J&K State and Others) passed on March 20, 2020, directed former senior government representative to provide the pensionary benefits to the employees within two months but till date no action has been taken,” one of the retired employees, struggling for pension policy implementation, here told UNI.
Pertinently, the J&K Sports Council being a party in the above mentioned case, in March 2019, had also submitted an affidavit to the J&K High Court.
The retired employees, revealed that in an order issued by the J&K Sports Council on September 15, 2015—(accessed by UNI) have said in order to explore the avenues for grant of pension to its employees, sanction is accorded for reservation of 25 percent of interest annually earned on FDRs and two percent Administrative Charges on grants given to Associations and its deposition into separate account to be opened by the Chief Account Officer (CAO) with any branch of Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
“The grant of pension will be subject to approval by the competent authority,” read an order number 303 of 2015.
However, Order Number 605 of 2017 of J&K Sports Council while referring to the Order Number 303 of September 15, 2015, read that the standing committee in its 132nd meeting held on May 15, 2017, approved the action taken by the former Secretary J&K (State) Sports Council for deduction of two percent administrative charges on the regular grants sanctioned in favour of recognised Sports Associations and impounding the same into corpus/pension fund.
Another senior employee of J&K Sports Council speaking to UNI expressed that the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on March 20, 2020, in a judgement has directed the competent authority that the petitioners (Employees) have prayed for a direction to the respondents (J&K Sports Council) to provide pensionary benefits to the petitioners who are serving (retired) employees of the J&K (State) Sports Council on the analogy of employees of J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board and J&K Handicraft Corporation and J&K SRTC.
“The (then) Secretary to the Government, (State) Sports Council, Jammu has filed reply affidavit in which he has categorically stated that the matter with regard to payment of pensionary benefits to the employees of the J&K Sports Council has been taken up with the Government and the same is under active consideration. It is submitted that as and when appropriate decision is taken by the government, follow up action will be taken by the J&K Sports Council,” said the Court.
The Court asked the respondents to take the matter to its logical end further directing, “Let a decision on the request of the J&K Sports Council for payment of pensionary benefits to its employees be taken in accordance with law within a period of two months from the date a certified copy of order (accessed by UNI).”
President, All J&K Retired Employees Association, J&K Sports Council, Rajan Sharma, when contacted, told UNI, “we are fighting for our rights for decades but no heed is paid to the genuine demand.”
“Despite Court order and "clearance" from the Finance Department, why the pensionary benefits are being denied to the legitimate employees, is better known to the competent authority,” rued the Association head, who had retired as Divisional Sports Officer from the J&K Sports Council.
“The Prime Minister has also covered pensionary benefits to farmers, shopkeepers but it is unfortunate that employees of Sports Council are deprived of pensionary benefits despite availability of surplus pension funds,” stated Mr Sharma and sought intervention of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, fondly called as ‘Vikaspurush’ with an appeal to get their concern addressed.

UNI VBH SY 1536

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