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Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Monday announced that the government will go ahead with engaging a few thousand contractual employees to dispose of financial files ahead of the financial year’s end.

“We will begin the engagement of the casual workers from Tuesday onwards. The government should continue to work for the sake of the people,” said Biren Singh.

This comes after the striking government employees ignored the government’s appeal to resume work by Monday. The employees had gone on indefinite ceasework strike from Thursday demanding implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

Biren Singh said that the government employees number about 1 lakh of the state’s 28 lakh population.

“The interest of the 28 lakh people should be kept. The employees who are demanding enhanced pay are getting suitable pay scale now. It is deplorable that the employees refused to join the official work,” he said.

Official sources also said that the government is likely to arrest some of top government employee leaders, since the police have been keeping tabs on them in the name of ensuring their attendance in the offices.

Leaders of the striking employees said that the government did not extend any invitation to hold negotiations and they cannot act on the “appeal through the media”.

One of the striking employees said: “We are attending the offices. But we are not disposing of the official files.”

Deputy chief minister Yumnam Joykumar had already announced that the no-work-no-pay rule will be applied to the striking employees.

Joykumar, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that an additional fund of Rs 1,400 crore will be required every year for paying the enhanced pay scale. Biren Singh said that since Manipur depends on the central largesse, there is no fund to implement the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

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