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SIDCO officials not happy to contribute 4 day’s salary to Covid Relief Fund

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Accuse MD of taking decision without their consent

Srinagar: The Managing Director SIDCO may pat himself in the back for having contributed over Rs 18 lakhs to the J&K COVID-19 Relief Fund, but the subordinate staff is not happy and are agitating what they term a unilateral decision taken at the top.

“Contributing a day’s salary is OK, but in our case the senior functionaries of the department have taken away four days of our salary, which is not only uncalled for but unjust as well,” said several employees of J&K State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO), who work as managers of various industrial estates across Jammu and Kashmir.

“See, contributing in the Covid Relief Fund is a noble cause, but the reality is that one could spare money for charity only after his/her basic needs are met. We too have to take care of our families and their needs,” said a manager.

They said that while their salaries for the month of March are yet to be remitted into their salary accounts, the department has already taken away a portion of it for the Relief Fund and forwarded it to the government.

“We should at least have been consulted, and our views also solicited. But nothing of the sort was done,” the agitating officers said.

They informed that the Managing Director SIDCO, Ravinder Kumar issued a circular (SIDCO/ACC/CO/015/155/1244-53 on March 03, 2020 informing them that it has been decided that General Managers, Senior Manager and Managers of SIDCO will contribute four days of their salary towards the Covid Relief Fund. Deputy Managers and Assistant Managers were asked to part with three days of salary; Superintendents, Head Assistants and Junior Assistants two days of salary while one day’s salary was deducted from the accounts of wile Class IV employees.

“This is completely unfair. How can someone at the helm decide the matters for us and on our behalf without seeking our consent?” the agitating officers maintain.

The decision was taken at an “emergency” meeting called by the Managing Director, they said adding that it was also claimed that the decision in this regard was taken “unanimously”.

“This is not true. We were not consulted, but only informed about it after it was decided and the money already deducted from our salaries — even before the salaries came into or bank accounts,” the officers alleged.

They said that the Managing Director “wants to remain in good books of the government and earn brownie points for his magnanimity. He should have done it by sparing from his own individual account. But since he was donating money from our accounts, he should not have done it without a go-ahead from us.”

Pertinently, the SIDCO Employees Union has also agitated the issue and written a letter to the Managing Director expressing employees’ serious dismay and reservations about the decision.

“The decision (of taking away contributions from employees’ salaries) has been taken without taking the SIDCO Employees Union into confidence. The decision has created panic among the employees as it will upset and disturb their family budgets,” reads a letter written by G M Mir, president SIDCO Employees Union, to the Managing Director.

The letter says that the employees would have willingly donated a day’s salary to the relief fund. But taking away more than that and without their consent is “coercion”, the union’s letter to the MD SIDCO reads.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) today donated Rs 18.10 lakh to J&K Relief Fund to strengthen the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

In this regard, Managing Director J&K SIDCO, Ravinder Kumar here today presented a cheque of Rs 18, 09,640 to Commissioner Secretary Industries and Commerce Department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi as a contribution to J&K Relief Fund, an official communiqué issued here today said. The amount collected shall be deposited in the Relief account as a voluntary contribution from the staff of the Corporation.

Managing Director SIDCO apprised the Commissioner Secretary that the donation forms the part of salary of the Corporation’s employees who have contributed 5-day to one-day salary as per their salary grades.

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