The contractual employees working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) on Friday held a state-level rally at the New Grain Market in Moga to demand hike in daily wages and increase in job guarantee days.
Thousands of workers under the banner of MGNREGA Rojgar Prapat Mazdoor Union (MPMU) gathered and chanted slogans against the Central government for pursuing pro-rich policies.
Surjit Dhudike, president of the MPMU, addressing the gathering, said that they were being exploited by the government.
He demanded increase in daily wages from Rs 150 to Rs 250 and job guarantee days from 100 to 200 days.
They lifted their protest after four hours of protest.
Jewellers determined to continue stir
The protest by jewellers against the imposition of 1% excise duty on gold entered its fourth day on Friday. The Jewellers under the banner of the Swarnkar Sangh, Sarafa Association and Sony Samaj held a protest march and burnt an effigy of union finance minister Arun Jaitley.
The jewellers are also protesting against the requirement of permanent account number (PAN) on the purchase of gold or diamond jewellery of more than Rs 2 lakh. The leaders said, ” Today, gold’s price for 10 grams is more than Rs 29,800 and only 67 grams costs Rs 2 lakh. Now-a-days, the purchase of 100 grams is common and nobody wants to give his PAN on a paltry purchase. Secondly, most farmers do not have PAN as agriculture comes under tax-free income and our 50% buyers come from villages and they do not have PAN.” The jewellers threatened to intensify agitation if their demands were not met.
Water supply and sanitation workers hold rally
All regular and contractual technical and mechanical workers of the water supply and sanitation department held a protest rally in front of the gate of the superintendent engineer’s office on Friday against the Punjab gover nment’s decision to allot water supply and sanitation schemes to village panchayats. They demanded that these schemes should be run by the department.
They also demanded regularisation contractual workers and daily wages in the department. They also demanded a pension scheme for them.