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Pharmacists call off cease-work


OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 27:

After an assurance from Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Damodar Rout that their demands will be resolved within a month, nearly 2,400 agitating pharmacists working at Government hospitals across the State called off their indefinite cease-work agitation on Tuesday.

“The Minister assured us that the Government is seriously considering our demands and sought one month’s time to resolve our long pending issues. He also urged the association to call off the strike in the better interest of common people,” said Odisha Pharmacists’ Service Association (OPSA) general secretary Sudhansu Sekhar Pati.

The pharmacists’ body is demanding salary in Rs 9,300-Rs 34,800 pay band with Rs 4,200 grade pay, besides pressing for abolition of anomaly in the pay scale of pharmacists, promotion and enhancement of entry-level qualification for pharmacists from diploma to degree so that they could get promotions during their career.

“If the Government fails to ensure justice to us within the deadline given by the minister, we will resort to agitation again,” warned Pati.

Pharmacists across the State resorted to an indefinite cease-work agitation from Monday although the Government extended the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) for another six months.