Gangtok, 10 Jun:
A section of beneficiaries of One Family One Job [OFOJ] scheme from different parts of the State staged a protest today at Tashiling Secretariat demanding that the Department of Personnel immediately withdraw its recent circular directing Department heads to withhold and cancel appointments of those who joined duty when the Model Code of Conduct was in force.
They have also demanded the immediate release of pending salaries of OFOJ employees, who have been working under different departments since January this year.
On this two-point demand, the protesting group met the Commissioner-cum-Secretary of DoP and submitted a memorandum. They also interacted with the Special Secretary of the department.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, they said that the DoP department must immediately withdraw its circular directing that appointments of those who joined duty after 08 March be withheld and cancelled.
“Around 9,000 youths fall under the second list of the scheme, who joined during March and such decision can put the future of these youth in the dark,” they said.
Speaking on the second demand, they mentioned that OFOJ employees who got their order on 12 January and immediately joined their duties in different departments have been working sincerely.
“But many of these employees have not received a single penny so far. So our second demand is the immediate release of pending salaries of these employees,” they demanded.
They also expressed their dissatisfaction on the interaction with the DoP officials.
“Although we had a thorough discussion with senior officials of the department, the matter could not be resolved because they do not have the dispatch register for the appointment orders. We were told that the dispatch register had been sent to the CMO prior to the election. Due to this we cannot check if the appointment orders were dispatched before the Model Code of Conduct came into force,” they alleged.
Responding to media queries on the issue, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha spokesperson, Jacob Khaling, who is also the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, mentioned that most appointment orders under the OFOJ scheme were dispatched on 21 February and some on 05 March, however, he alleged that they were handed over only after the Model Code of Conduct was enforced in the State.
Further alleging that these orders were kept by former Ministers and MLAs who distributed them after the enforcement of MCC and some even after the formation of the new government in the State, he stated that such appointment orders should be considered “duplicate and fake”.
Any work or joining after the enforcement of MCC is invalid and illegal, therefore, would be cancelled, he added.
However, he claimed that through this circular, the department has only suspended joining order for the time being to make it more legal and with legal backing. The department will re-verify the process and no genuine beneficiary will be left out but they will get new valid appointment orders, he stated.