January 2000 News

Farooq calls for decisive war against Pak to end turmoil

28 January 2000
The Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today called for a decisive war with Pakistan to end the turmoil in this Himalayan state, while announcing that tougher action against the striking government employees was on the anvil.

Mr Abdullah, who also announced that his government would "very shortly" bring out a white paper on the State's financial crunch, was also critical of the Centre for not realising the difficulties the state faced with a war-like situation. "No other state in the country is faced with such a situation", he observed.

Replying to a question as to how long such a situation could continue, Mr Abdullah said: "Till India builds up the courage to have a war with Pakistan. It should be "aar ya paar" (this way or the other) war," implying that it should be a decisive war. The Chief Minister had primarily convened a hurried press conference this afternoon to declare that striking employees were being "unreasonable" and thus liable for disciplinary action.

He also said that fresh recruitment would be ordered as a way out of the employees' strike that has crippled the government's working for over five weeks. "The Government cannot sit as a spectator and allow endless drift and will take appropriate action soon". The second phase of actions after the arrest and suspension of over 200 striking employees would begin today itself. Without elaborating the next step, Chief Minister said, "You will know it soon". Official sources, however, disclosed that more than 100 leaders of the employees would be dismissed on Monday and the dossiers were under preparation. The action would be announced on January 31, these sources said.

Mr Abdullah and Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather explained in detail how the Salaries Bill had risen from Rs 281 crore in 1988-89 to Rs 2,300 crore because of the grant of Central pay scales and the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission report. This had increased the financial burden, as the State was already fighting a "war" with Pakistan.

The State's financial difficulties had multiplied owing to the power subsidy that had risen from Rs 55 crore to Rs 675 crore and non-reimbursement of security-related expenditure of Rs 900 crore.

While admitting that the State Government had "recruited more than it should have", the CM said that the Govt would downsize the Govt staff by 30 per cent and also raise its internal resources.

The CM said the Centre would have to give Rs 830 crore, which covers the dearness allowance demand of the employees for the years 1999 and 2000.

 

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