Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Tamil Nadu Government Employees' Association president K. Balasubramanian has urged the Government to regularise the services of nearly 2,000 employees who were appointed on contract basis in Public Health and Medical Services department during the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime between 2001 and 2006.

He also sought to withdraw the new contributory pension scheme in which employees were asked to deposit 10 per cent of their monthly income. “The new scheme formulated by the Centre and accepted by 21 States, including Tamil Nadu, provides for parking the funds in the stock market. We are opposed to any such move and demand restoration of the old pension scheme,” he said.

Mr. Balasubramanian, also the president of Tamil Nadu Transport Department Staff Association (TNTDSA), was addressing the press here on Saturday after the central executive committee meeting of the association. He opposed tax concessions being given to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which according to him were nothing but places of exploitation of labourers.

He said that denial of labour rights such as pension and dearness allowance besides the permission to form employees union had turned these SEZs into “special exploitation zones” as termed by social activist Medha Patkar. The government should withdraw the tax concessions and ensure that all labour laws of the country were applicable to the companies established in SEZs.

Pointing out that every employee earning more than Rs.13,000 per month was being forced to pay income tax, he slammed the Centre for not increasing the tax exemption limit from the present Rs.1.6 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh per annum. “On one hand, the Central Government was giving sops worth Rs.80, 000 crore to the corporate sector and on the other it was fleecing the monthly wage earners.”

He also said that the transport department employees would hold a demonstration before the Transport Commissioner's office in Chennai and 10 other offices of the Deputy Transport Commissioners in various districts on March 24 for filling vacancies.