Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa on Monday said “there is no financial crunch and government is ready to put in money for PAU”.
“The Punjab government is sincere in its efforts to promote the working of PAU. I assure full support to PAU and won’t let the university have any financial crunch,” said Dhindsa on the sidelines of the 77th All India Convention of Indian Society of Soil Science, which began at PAU.
Asserting that “Punjab and PAU together will usher in second green revolution but only if we put all our efforts together’’, he said ‘’there is a need to provide sustainable future and livelihood to the country in general and farmers in particular’’.
On the long-pending arrears of the employees for the past two years, the minister said, “As I can see, there is no problem with the salaries of employees. Punjab government employees are the best paid in the whole of India. There is a problem with arrears but that is a matter of time only. Employee tussle is a natural process which gets solved with time.”
He said, “Employees too should understand the problems of Punjab government. Most of the states in India have even decided not to pay arrears as per the Pay Commission recommendations, but Punjab government is still committed to paying them.”
Dhindsa added, “Government has already increased the PAU budget to Rs 190 crore, and Rs 80 crore from rural development fund is too being given.”
‘40% of arrears by this year-end’
Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa also held a special meeting with the protesting employees demanding release of arrears for the past two years. Dhindsa assured them that 40% of arrears would be released by this year-end. But the employees’ union said that they would continue the strike till they got the amount. Paramjeet Singh Gill, president of PAU Employees’ Union, said, “Our salaries are updated but the non-teaching and class IV staff of the university are still waiting for their arrears which are pending after government revised our grades. We were bound to get 40% arrears by May 2011 and other 30% by May 2012 but the government has missed both the deadlines. We cannot expect that 30% arrears pending for May 2013 will be released on time. The total amount pending is around Rs 20 crore for 3,000 employees of PAU. We are agitated. Teaching staff of university has