Govt employees to observe strike today over zero pay raise
As the government decided against raising salaries of the government employees, the All Pakistan Secretariat Employees Coordination Council has given a strike call for June 18 (Thursday), reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
The one-day strike would be observed at all the federal and provincial government offices across the country.
In this connection, Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain Tahir – who is the president of Pakistan Secretariat Employees Coordination Council – told 24NewsHD TV channel that they had invited all the representative bodies of government organisations to join the strike call.
According to the plans, the government employees will stage protests outside the federal and provincial secretariats.
Many circles feel that the government succumbed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which has been pressing it hard to adopt austerity measures and also increase the power and gas prices besides allowing the market to determine the dollar price.
The liberalisation policy has already resulted in a weaker rupee as the dollar was available for Rs164.87 in inter-bank rate and for Rs165.30 in open market on Tuesday.
Also, the marketing companies are eyeing up to 100 percent increase in the basic price of gas, as the Ogra (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) will hear the applications on June 24 and 25 after which the government is going to determine the rates for different categories.
The Sui Northern wants a 100 percent hike price which will translate into Rs622 per unit (MMBtu) for the year 2020-21. The move, if approved, will cause an additional burden of Rs290 billion on the consumers.
On the other hand, the Sui Southern is pleading for a 20 percent (Rs85 per MMBtu) increase, making the people to pay an extra amount of over Rs30 billion.
Earlier, 24NewsHD TV channel had reported that the electricity would become expensive as the federal government decided to reduce the relief provided to them through subsidy.
The budget proposals show that the subsidy amount has been slashed by Rs111 billion, meaning that the citizens will get electricity at a higher per unit price.
In this scenario, the amount allocated for the K-Electric consumers is reduced by Rs34 billion. Similarly, the subsidy reserved for the power distribution companies covering other parts of the country is slashed by Rs77 billion.
According to the budget document, the reviewed subsidy amount for the consumers other than that of the K-Electric is Rs201 billion.
With the zero pay raise and higher electricity/ gas tariff, the people will now face more financial burden as their purchasing power has already been reduced by inflation.