Interim relief: YSR-JAC talks to resume tomorrow
Mon 22 Sep 2008 Source-Thehindu.
HYDERABAD: The talks between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and leaders of the Joint Action Committee of Employees, Teachers and Workers on the employees’ demand for 40 per cent interim relief (IR), ended in a stalemate as the two sides could not reach a consensus on the quantum to be paid.
However, they expect a solution to be hammered out on Wednesday when they resume the talks. As the JAC leaders walked out of his office in the Secretariat in a huff after nearly three hours of negotiations, rejecting the 10 per cent interim relief offered by Dr. Reddy, the latter appealed to them to come back to the negotiation table on Wednesday.
Though the JAC listed 42 other demands, the discussions centred mainly around IR, with the Chief Minister, who was assisted by Finance Minister K. Rosaiah and senior officials from Finance Department, initially offering only five per cent. JAC leaders, led by their chairman V. Gopal Reddy and secretary-general K. Swamy Goud, in turn, made a climbdown to 30 per cent but refused to budge beyond that. Payment of 30 per cent IR will place an additional burden of Rs. 1,400 crore on the exchequer, a senior official explained later.
JAC leaders complained that the government staff had lost their purchasing capacity due to the double digit inflation and that there was a wide gap between the pay-scales of the State and Central government employees.