A showdown between the Jammu and Kashmir government and its employees has been averted with the former agreeing to fulfill almost all demands of the employees barring increase in retirement age to 60 years from 58 now.

The breakthrough in the nearly two-year-old stalemate, came after a marathon meeting between cabinet sub-committee and representatives of employees here last evening.

Briefing about the meeting, Finance minister A. R. Rather, who headed the cabinet sub-committee, told reporters on Sunday “we agreed to release 5 per cent house rent allowance (HRA) in two instalments. First instalment of two and a half per cent will be released in June and another in June 2011”.

“Government has also agreed to convert Cost of Living Allowance into Dearness Allowance. This will be done in June. Order in this regard will be issued soon”, he said adding eight per cent DA will be released next month.

He said government has formed a committee to look into the pay anomalies and it will submit its report by June.

“The qualifying service period for retirement has been fixed at 28 years. The person who will complete 28 years in government service will be entitled for full pension. Earlier, the cut off age for full pension was 33 years”, Mr. Rather said.

About regularisation of daily wagers, adhoc and contractual employees, Rather flanked by Law Minister A. M. Sagar, Irrigation Minister Taj Mohiuddin, Education Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed and Industries Minister S. S. Slathia, said cabinet sub-committee could not give its report due to some reasons.

“The committee has to submit its report within six months. Let the report come first”, he added.

He said the government agreed to consider the strike period of employees as leave.

Process will be initiated to look into the cases of those employees against whom action was taken under ESMA and a positive and lenient view shall be taken after following the due process of law, he said.

About release of arrears, he said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has made a commitment that there would be a roadmap within three months on how to release the arrears. “We will try to come up with the roadmap by August-end”, he added.

The minister said he was happy that the Joint consultative committee leaders and representatives of employees unions agreed to settle all issues through dialogue in future.

Meanwhile, employees leaders K. Alam, Abdul Qayoom wani, Naizr Ahmad welcomed the government decision.