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The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), affiliated to the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), has alleged that the Union Budget failed to address the central government employees’ issues, resulting in disappointment among them.
In a press release on Thursday, NFIR general secretary M. Raghavaiah noted that while the budget proposed concessional Tax Regime for salaried class and senior citizens, the genuine aspirations of Central government employees were not addressed. No decision was taken to release the frozen amount of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief for the period from January 2020 to June 2021 to ensure refund for employees as well as pensioners, Mr. Raghavaiah said.
“If new posts are not sanctioned for maintenance of newly built assets and existing vacancies are not filled on emergency basis , Indian Railways safety standards would deteriorate leading to untoward incidences,” he claimed.
He further said that the Union government and Railway ministry should take a call for lifting the ban on creation of posts in Railways and at the same time action should be taken to fill all vacancies in general and safety related vacant posts in particular.
The Railway employees ensured movement of freight trains, Migrant Specials, Oxygen Specials etc during the first two waves of COVID-19. In the course of performing duties, many employees got infected with COVID-19, resulting in the death of over 3,500 Railway employees. Their families have not been extended financial relief in the form of ex-gratia till date, the press release said.
While the Budget aims to create 60 lakh jobs the Government is blind to the situation wherein, the Railways alone more than 3.5 lakh posts are vacant causing heavy burden on the existing staff.
Dr. Raghavaiah said that during the second wave of the pandemic 2020-21 the Indian Railways have achieved a freight loading over 1234 million tones, surpassing all previous achievements and in the process, over 3000 railway employees got infected with COVID-19 and died. These families are yet to be granted ex gratia by the Government of India.
NFIR also expressed disappointment that the Budget did not take care to grant full salary of child care leave to women employees. “Additional Pensions to the Central Government pensioners on attainment of 70 years age has also not been announced through the Union Budget,” he added.