ISLAMABAD: The capital’s administration and police are fully prepared to prevent government employees from entering the ‘red zone’ as a convoy of employees has started arriving in the federal capital today (Tuesday) to sit in front of Parliament House.
The Finance Ministry has once again ruled out the possibility of an immediate increase in the salaries and demands of government employees, despite fears of an indefinite strike by more than five dozen unions and trade unions from January 12, 2021.
Haji Muhammad Irshad, president of the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA), told The News that the government has once again reneged on its promises to increase the salaries of government employees. “Last time we went back to the government request and he promised an increase in salaries but to no avail,” he said.
Rehman Bajwa, President, Federal Secretariat Employees Corps Committee, said that we will reach Parliament House at any cost. “The government is constantly cheating us, but now we will never forgive them,” he warned. He said the government was trying to harass dozens of employees but would reach Parliament House for a ‘sit-in’ at all costs.
He said the government should take their demands seriously and warned that if it tried to use force against the protesters, they would lock up all roads and areas in the country. An official correspondence between the interior minister and the prime minister’s office said the interior ministry feared a coalition of 11 opposition parties could hijack the PDM workers’ protest. Employees of government businesses, pensioners and trade unions have announced an indefinite sit-in in Islamabad from Tuesday. Interior Minister Sh Rashid had recommended that the Finance Minister immediately. Only the clerks can meet the leadership and announce some progress. However, according to sources, the finance ministry did not agree with the proposal to immediately announce financial benefits to thwart the protesters.
Government employees were demanding a 100 per cent increase in their basic salaries, an increase in their housing allowance, medical allowance, convention allowance and upgrading to clerk positions. Preliminary estimates show that the annual cost of these demands was more than Rs 100 billion, which the Ministry of Finance was not in a position to bear due to budget deficit conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).