Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No One Employed in Kashmir Will Earn Less Than Rs. 3,300 a Month

Minimum wages of skilled and other workers revised

Srinagar: Government has revised the minimum wages of skilled and other workers with effect from October 01, 2009, a spokesperson of the Labour and Employment department said here today.

He informed that the revision was made after four years.

Accordingly, the wages of unskilled has been revised from Rs 66 per day to Rs 110, semi-skilled Rs 88 to Rs 150, skilled Rs 147 to Rs 200, ministerial, supervisor and accountants Rs 94 to Rs 175.

The spokesperson also said the revision of the rates will benefit lakhs of labourers working in organized and unorganized sectors of the economy.

The rates are applicable across the board to all workers of different categories.

Any employer who pays wages less than those fixed above shall be prosecuted under the provisions of Minimum Wages Act, he warned.

The Assistant Labour Commissioners of the Labour Department of all districts have been directed to strictly implement the revised rates and take due cognizance of any violation thereof.
The revised rates are also applicable to the workers working in the shopping establishments, domestic hands, factory workers and other industries.

Therefore, all the employers including the citizens who have hired domestic hands were informed that the payment of wages less than Rs 110 per day or Rs 3,300 per month shall invite the punitive provisions of the Act.

The rates shall also apply to the labourers working under various Central government schemes, State government schemes and other Corporations and Public Sector Undertakings.
(Kashmir Images)

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