Employees of various government departments protest outside the Pak Secretariat in Islamabad on Wednesday, seeking increase in their allowances and pensions. In the other picture, policewomen try to hold back protesters from going towards the National Assembly. — Photos by Mohammad Asim & Online
Employees of various government departments protest outside the Pak Secretariat in Islamabad on Wednesday, seeking increase in their allowances and pensions. In the other picture, policewomen try to hold back protesters from going towards the National Assembly. — Photos by Mohammad Asim & Online

ISLAMABAD: All Government Employees Grand Alliance (AGEGA) staged a demonstration in front of the Pak Secretariat on Wednesday, demanding substantial increase in their pay and pension.

The protest, held on the day the federal budget was presented, saw participation of various government employees associations, including the Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA).

Anticipating the protests of government employees, the administration took precautionary measures by locking the gates of Pak Secretariat early in the morning. Despite these measures, protesters gathered in front of the main gate of Pak Secretariat, carrying banners and placards, and chanting slogans to draw attention to their demands.

The key demands of the protesters included a 200pc increase in house rent allowance, medical allowance and conveyance allowance. Additionally, they called for the reduction of pay disparities between employees of ministries and attached departments, as well as a 100pc increase in pensions.

There was also strong opposition to the proposed amendments to pension rules, with demands that any new rules should only apply to new employees.

FGCTA PresidentDr Rahima Rehman demanded an increase in the salaries of government servants and drew attention to the notable pay differences between government employees in attached departments and ministries. She demanded that the gap between the salaries of employees in ministries/divisions and those in attached departments should be eliminated.

FGCTA Senior Vice President Prof Farhan Azam said some allowances had been stopped since long despite rising inflation, and demanded that these allowances be unfrozen and adjusted as per the current inflation rates.

Prof Tahir Bhatti urged for an employee-friendly budget, emphasising the need for the government to prioritise the welfare of less privileged employees as a means to alleviate poverty. He asserted that the government should direct its attention towards improving the conditions of these employees to effectively combat poverty.

AGEGA Chief CoordinatorRehman Bajwa demanded a substantial increase in pensions and opposed the amendments to the current pension rules. He said any necessary changes should exclusively apply to new employees, sparing those already in service.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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