Despite a warning by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to employees, the strike in government offices across Manipur continued for the third day on Saturday, paralysing work.
Singh had, on Friday night, asked employees to return to work by Monday, “failing which the government has to find other people to discharge their work”.
Explaining the government’s position, he said: “It will involve an additional expenditure of Rs 1,400 crore annually to implement the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission to pay over 85,000 employees and about 45,000 pensioners. Manipur has been depending mostly on the central government largesse.”
Noting that “before the end of the financial year on March 31, funds have to be sanctioned for a slew of developmental projects”, he urged employees to return to work.
The indefinite strike was jointly called on Thursday by the Joint Administrative Council (JAC) of the All Manipur Trade Unions Council and the All Manipur Government Employees Organisation to protest the government’s failure to implement the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for employees and pensioners.
Except for the employees in the Secretariat, there is a massive response in all other government offices, pro-strike activists claimed.
The employees on strike pointed out that out of the 19 BJP-ruled states, Manipur is the only one where the recommendations have not been implemented.