Rights groups say that outsourcing or contract system must be abolished outright and not in phases

The system of outsourcing pourakarmikas is all set to be abolished, albeit in stages, if the Chief Minister’s budget announcement is anything to go by.

In his budget speech on Friday, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that vacant posts of pourakarmikas would be filled in all urban local bodies in the State, including the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

While the government’s decision has been welcomed, rights groups aver that outsourcing or contract system must be abolished outright and not in phases.

S. Balan, labour lawyer and president of the BBMP Contract Pourakarmikas’ Association, said that for the past 23 years, the government had been flouting labour laws. He said the contract system should be abolished by the board, which the government had formed as required under the Contract Regularisation and Abolition Act, 1970.

The BBMP alone has 21,000 pourakarmikas, including 17,000 on contract. More than 95 per cent of pourakarmikas are women, while almost 92 per cent of all pourakarmikas are Telugu speaking migrants. “As per sections of the Contract Regularisation and Abolition Rules, 1971, there should be one pay for one work i.e. equal pay for equal work. These rules have been flouted for so long by the government,” he said. Mr. Balan said that the government should address the lack of benefits and facilities to the pourakarmikas and abolish the contract system completely from the State.

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