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Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 1:48 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 1:48 AM (IST)

Sans salary for months, Sewa Kendra staff hold protest

Sans salary for months, Sewa Kendra staff hold protest
MLA Simarjit Singh Bains speaks with officials of the BLS company during a protest by Sewa Kendra staff. Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Gurvinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16

Hundreds of employees of Sewa Kendras in the state protested outside the office of BLS Company at the Feroze Gandhi market on Monday. The company had been given the contract of running these centres by the SAD-BJP government a couple of years back.

The employees were protesting against the company as well as the government for not being paid salaries for the past five months. They said it was extremely unfortunate that the government had become completely indifferent to their plight. They are struggling to survive as running households has become impossible for them with no money in hand.

Harpreet Singh, an employee, said: “I had to seek financial help from my friend to get my child admitted to school. That is harsh on the part of the company and the government to keep us from our hard-earned pay,” he added.

Another employee said he had raised a loan for purchasing a bike. He was unable to pay the loan instalments now.

Parminder Singh, general secretary of the Sewa Kendra Employees Union, said they didn’t know where to go as the government was washing its hands of this problem. The district administration officials simply say they cannot help because the company has to pay the salary. “But such attitude of the government officials is surprising because we are working to provide online services to the public for the government only,” he said.

Several employees alleged that they had been threatened that if they carried on with the protest, their job would be terminated.

Lok Insaaf Party chief and MLA Simarjit Singh Bains reached there and said it was sad that the Congress-government, which had come to power on the promise of offering a job to every household, had not only failed to provide jobs to youth but it was also bent upon taking the jobs of the youths already employed.

Amitabh Ghosh, an official of BLS company, told Bains that as the government had not made payments worth Rs 203 crore to the company, they were unable to pay salaries to the staff. He said the five-month salary of all employees came to around Rs 40 crore.

Bains, after making calls to government officials, said he had been assured that around Rs 25 crore would be released soon.

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