| Muhammad Irshadullah |
PESHAWAR: Members of the All Government Employees Association from both Upper and Lower Chitral staged a protest outside Peshawar Press Club on Sunday against the abolition and reduction in the firewood allowance.
The protest camp was organized by district upper and lower Chitrl employees unions and attended by a large number of employees.
Talking to ChitralToday, the protesters said Chitral is a very cold and remote area due to its geographical location. To facilitate the government employees, the British government in early 1940s had introduced home firewood allowance and firewood charges for the employees which was paid to the employees in a year.
During the PPP government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the 1970s, the mount was increased to Rs4.5 per day. The ANP government increased the amount to Rs45.
During his recent visit to Chitral, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan promised to increase the amount to Rs100 per day. However, instead of keeping his words, soon after his return to Peshawar, a notification was issued that changed the firewood allowance and firewood charges altogether.
The notification introduced a weather allowance and also reduced the number of days needing firewood from 166 to 115 days of the year and introduced a section that deprived the employees, especially teachers, of the allowance during the vacation days.
The president of the association Upper Chitral warned the government to withdraw the notification issued on November 29. 2021, otherwise the employees will start a series of protests against the provincial government and boycott all kind of duties especially in the upcoming local government elections.