Leave surrender in Kerala PSUs goes

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MAY 29. The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to withdraw leave surrender benefits to employees of institutions funded by the Government.

The Chief Minister, A. K. Antony, told presspersons after the Cabinet meeting that the decision would apply to employees of public sector units, universities, cooperatives, welfare fund boards and other government organisations. The Chief Minister said the proposed Kerala Loading and Unloading (Abolition of Extortionary Intimidatory or Unlawful Practices) Bill would be introduced in the coming session of the Assembly on a priority basis.

The Bill would give full freedom to ordinary people to load and unload goods for their domestic use either themselves or by employing workers of their choice.

Employers in notified industrial parks and tourist parks would be free to employ workers of their choice for loading and unloading. The system of headload committees would continue in areas where it is in existence. Mr. Antony said the Government was keen that the labour did not lose its just rights and benefits. They would be protected. However, the unhealthy practices that were prevalent in the sector would be checked. This was necessary to create an atmosphere conducive to the development of the State.

He said that fresh global tenders would be called for consultancy contract for the Kerala Water Supply Project funded by the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The JBIC had agreed to this. He said that no-objection certificates would be given to ten more B. Ed. colleges. A model residential school would be set up for Scheduled Castes and Tribes at Painavu in Idukki district.

He said that the validity of PSC rank lists would be extended for one year with effect from February 6, 2002. The PSC and the Subject Committee of the House had recommended the same. He confirmed that the Industries Minister, P. K. Kunhalikutty, and the Revenue Minister, K. M. Mani, would tour foreign countries in connection with the Global Investors Meet proposed to be held in Kerala.

He criticised attempts to communalise the tours. It was unfortunate that people talking of secularism were trying to give a communal colour to everything. Communalism was being used as a tool to oppose individuals.

Mr. Antony said that none should think that they could use communalism as a stick to beat the Government. He was one who had been elected from different constituencies with support of all sections. "I am one who has overcome such trials.''

Asked about officials being caught taking bribes, the Chief Minister said the Government would take strong steps against corruption. Officials should not collect money for any political party. If they ignored this warning, they would find themselves in trouble.

Mr. Antony said he was urging all political parties not to use officials for collecting contributions. Parties could directly collect contributions from the public, given on a voluntary basis.

He said the practice of collecting funds using officials had grown with the collection of fund for the party channel, Kairali, by the CPI(M). Even quotas had been fixed then for collection of funds.

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