Chandigarh, Feb 20 (PTI) The Punjab government Wednesday announced to bring a special legislation for regularizing services of contractual employees, a move seen as a counter to the allegations of non-fulfilment of employees’ demands faced by the Amarinder Singh-led dispensation.

There are over 30,000 employees in various departments including education, irrigation, who have been working on contractual basis in the state.

“We have decided to bring a resolution for regularization of the contractual employees,” Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said in the House, winding up the discussion on the Governor’s address in the ongoing Punjab budget session.

Pointing out that the legislation enacted by the previous government had to be withdrawn as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had threatened to strike it down, as it had done in the case of Haryana, Singh announced the decision to enact a special legislation for regularization of the contractual employees.

The chief minister said it was the bounden duty of his government to address the concerns of the employees, calling them “an integral part of the government”.

“I assure them I will protect their genuine interests as a father protects his family. The financial constraints are no secret. Therefore the grievances were taking longer to be settled,” he said, adding that it had always been the effort of the government to do something for employees rather than doing only “lip service”.

Singh said the release of six per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) due to the employees had been notified and his government had made reservation of two per cent seats in all government vocational/professional colleges for wards of government employees (Group C and D).

He said the government had decided that allotment of land be undertaken by development authorities, Improvement Trusts and MCs for employees cooperative group housing societies at reserve price.

The necessary scheme will be notified by the government for allotment of one acre of land for 40 employees, the CM said.

Reservation of three per cent of residential plots was being done for allotment to government employees by Development Authorities, MCs, Improvement Trusts or any other government agency, he further said.

In another relief to the employees, the CM said the government was working to amend the rules to provide for expeditious promotions through reduction in requisite qualifying service.

He said there would be no reduction if requisite qualifying service is two years or less, reduction of one year if the requisite qualifying service is more than two years but less than five years, reduction of two years if requisite qualifying service is seven years or more and reduction of three years if requisite qualifying service is ten years or more.

Lashing out at previous SAD-BJP government, the CM accused it of failing to address the woes of the employees or take any steps for their welfare.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.