Employees of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC), who have not received salaries since November 2016, have auctioned their household goods to make ends meet. Items such as televisions, motorbikes, scooters, utensils, chairs, tables and stoves were auctioned to raise money to pay medical bills, school fee, and to buy essential items, NCHAC Employees Union (NCHACEU) vice president Joyraj Thaosen said.
“We managed to raise Rs. 25,000 from the auction. People are sympathetic towards us and many of them donated money. Rs. 20,000 came from donations,” NCHACEU secretary Hoineikim Changsan said.
Of the 2,270 people going without salary for over a year, around 200 held the auction near the Cultural Institute Hall at Haflong, the headquarters of Dima Hasao district, on Saturday.
The NCHAC controls almost all the departments in the Dima Hasao district with executive power except general administration, police, treasury, election and judiciary. It could not pay salary to employees in its role since November 2016, because previous governments allegedly hired unnecessarily large number of employees, NCHAC Chief Executive Member Debolal Garlosa had said earlier.
Mr Garlosa said the hill council does not earn a lot to pay these employees but he will make efforts to release their salaries as soon as possible. NCHACEU information secretary Bonil Joharisaid said the affected people are ‘Normal Sector’ employees, who are recruited by departmental heads and not by the government, and their salaries are paid from the revenue earned by the NCHAC. The employees have been agitating for long, demanding salary but without success.