Jammu and Kashmir government and the state Employees’ unions have reached an agreement wherein all arrears on account of sixth pay commission will be paid to employees in five equal annual instalments through provident fund without any lock-in period.

It was decided that the employees will be paid 20 per cent arrears every year over a five-year-period with no lock-in period, an official spokesman said. The agreement was thrashed out last night.

The instalments will be deposited in the General Provident Fund (GPF) accounts of the employees, the spokesman said.

The earlier roadmap prepared by the government, but rejected by the employees, had put a three year lock-in period for withdrawing the arrears. Government employees in the State had been protesting the delay in payment of arrears.

Addressing the employees after the agreement, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said before coming to power he had promised employees that their genuine demands will be met.

He said his aim of building a prosperous Jammu and Kashmir led him to accept their demands though under the present strict financial conditions taking such a step was very difficult.

“At no point had the Government any intention of confrontation with the employees whom he described as limbs of the Government,” Mr. Omar said.

Congratulating the team of officers and leaders of employees’ unions who were part of the negotiations, the Chief Minister asked the employees to work with dedication and for the welfare of people of the State.

The agreement comes ahead of a three-day strike called by the employees’ unions to coincide with the summer session of the state assembly beginning September 26.

On the other demands of the employees, a Committee headed by the Chief Secretary will consider all aspects of increasing the retirement age of employees from 58 years to 60 years.

The committee will also hold consultations with relevant stake holders and submit a comprehensive report to the Cabinet sub-committee formed for the purpose by February 2012.

Five representatives of the Employees’ Unions shall also be associated with the deliberations from time to time. The Cabinet Sub-Committee shall take an appropriate decision on the report of the committee by end of March 2012.

According to the agreement, the Finance Department shall ensure that the defaulting Administrative Departments submit the required information in respect of casual and temporary labourers engaged after 1994 so as to work out a comprehensive picture as regards the magnitude of the problem within the next three months.

“Thereafter, the entire matter shall be placed for consideration of the Cabinet Sub-Committee constituted for the purpose for formulation of appropriate policy in this regard,” the spokesman said.

The cases of the regularisation of left over pre-1994 casual employees and adhoc, contractual and consolidated appointees shall be fast tracked as per the existing policy.