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Bonanza for govt employees
Pay panel recommends 40 per cent hike
Bhagyashree Pande
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 24
The Sixth Pay Commission has recommended an average hike of 40 per cent in the salaries of all central government employees, including defence personnel. The recommendation of the Commission will affect nearly four million central government workers and will cost the exchequer Rs 12,561 crore in 2008-09.

The Commission, headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna, submitted its report to finance minister P. Chidambaram today recommending implementation of the revised pay from January 1, 2006. This retrospective bonanza will alone cost an additional burden of Rs 18,060 crore on the government.

The most important suggestion in the report is the hike in salary of cabinet secretary and defence chiefs, which should be at Rs 90,000 a month, and that of secretary at Rs 80,000 per month, while making Rs 6,660 as the minimum entry-level salary.

The panel seeks to retain the superannuation age at 60 years, while recommending an exception to scientists and medical specialists, who can get concession up to two years.

Justice Srikrishna said: “We have recommended at variable annual increment of 2.5 to 3.5 per cent of basic salary for government employees depending upon their performance.”

For the armed forces, it has recommended a military allowance of Rs 1,000 to Rs 6,000 per month. Recommending a substantial increase in allowances and other benefits, the Commission also suggested a 40 per cent increase in pension and family pension.

What needs to be seen is how far will the UPA government go in appeasing this large vote bank? If it does then the state governments, who are already burdened with a financial crunch, will have to follow suit as a vote capturing exercise.

Though this is a big burden on the economy and can wreck havoc on the finances of the Centre and the state governments, the finance minister while making the Budget speech said there was enough headroom to meet the additional expenditure.

Justice Srikrishna said after submitting the report: “I have recommended something that is good for the nation. I have suggested an average hike of 40 per cent. One of the important suggestions is the recommendation of a good hike in the pays of defence personnel, whose pay has been brought on par with civilian staff, besides making them eligible for special allowance between Rs 1,000 per month to Rs 6,000 per month. This has been suggested to attract young talent in the armed forces, which has been facing a severe manpower crunch owing to more attractive jobs in the private sector.

In a significant move, the Commission has sought to delink salaries of members or chairperson of the regulators from government salaries. The pay commission has also recommended an increase in the salary of chairpersons of regulators, including the SEBI (stock exchange regulator), TRAI (telecom regulator), IRDA (insurance regulator), to Rs 3 lakh per month. This hike, the commission feels, will attract better professionals for the job.

The report says the proposed salary is considered adequate for attracting experts in the field, who, in the Commission’s view, are not looking just at the monetary compensation but also at the prestige involved in the job.

The report suggests that women and disabled employees be given a special treatment and has recommended improved working conditions, while it paves way for awarding performers through a higher 3.5 per cent rate of increment against the normal 2.5 per cent.

The Commission also recommended an increase in benefits for women employees, including maternity leave of 180 days, besides flexi-timings in certain cases.

In a move to increase efficiency of the central government employees, the report proposes the introduction of performance related incentive scheme (PRIS), under which the employees will be eligible for pecuniary remuneration over and above the pay. The PRIS would replace ad-hoc bonus scheme immediately and eventually replace productivity-linked bonus.

The report states that in addition to this, a system be put in place for giving market-driven compensation package to young scientists and posts requiring special expertise and professional skills.

The report proposes that all the recommendations be treated as an organic whole as partial implementation will bring in several anomalies and inconsistencies.

The Commission has recommended that the arrears amounting to Rs 18,060 crore, which will be on the exchequer, be paid in two installments. It clarified that the Budget would have to account for as much as Rs 12,642 crore, while the balance of Rs 5,418 crore would have to be provided for in the railway budget.

The Commission also sought to give major benefits to the pensioner by recommending higher rates on attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 years. It has also sought pension to be paid at 50 per cent of the higher of the average emoluments or last drawn salary without linking it to 33 years of service.

Government offices will remain closed only on the three national holidays. All other gazetted holidays will be abolished and compensated by increasing the number of restricted holidays from two to eight days in a year.


n Average hike in salary would be 40 per cent
n Performance-related incentive scheme to be implemented
n Total number of grades reduced to 20 against prevailing 35
n Minimum entry-level monthly salary would be Rs 6,660
n Superannuation age fixed at 60 years
n 40 per cent increase in pension and family pension
n Defence personnel to be brought on a par with civilian staff
n Allowances to be doubled from the existing rates
n Revised pay to be effective from January 1, 2006
n Government offices to remain closed only on three national holidays




Hefty package for defence personnel
Salary of services chiefs to be Rs 90,000 per month

New Delhi, March 24
In a significant gesture to the men in uniform, the Sixth Pay Commission today elevated the three defence services chiefs to be among the highest paid public servicemen drawing a salary of Rs 90,000 per month equivalent to the Cabinet Secretary.

Though the Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs got a hefty hike of about 60,000 per month in emoluments, they would continue to be at par with Defence Secretary in protocol. So far the three chiefs were drawing a fixed monthly pay packet of Rs 30,000 per month.

Seeking to bring cheer to the armed forces personnel, who guard the country’s frontiers, the Commission recommended that like their civilian counterparts, the soldiers and officers would get at least a 40 per cent hike in pay packets across the board.

But for the armed forces facing acute shortage of officers and now alarming shortfalls in attracting talent to military schools, the commission instituted a special Military Service Pay upto the rank of Brigadiers.

For all officers from a second Lieutenant to Brigadiers the special pay would be Rs 6,000 and for personnel below officer rank it would be Rs 1,000 per month.

Military Nursing Service officers would get Rs 4,200 per month. The commission also elevated the rank of the Director General Armed Forces Medical services to the Secretary, Government of India and would draw a fixed salary of Rs 80,000 per month.

The commission has doubled the special Siachen and high altitude allowance payable to soldiers serving in freezing heights at the world’s highest battlefield, Kargil and in North-East. Similarly it has also doubled the flying allowance of fighter and transport pilots and submarine allowance for the Naval personnel serving in deep seas. While also doubling the allowances of the Navy’s special Marcos forces and Chariot allowances to marine commandoes and diving allowance to deep sea divers, the commission has turned down the proposal to equate the army special forces with the Marcos. It has, however, retained special allowances payable to the special forces ranging from Rs 1,000 to sepoys to Rs 2,600 for Lt Col and above. Recognising the services being rendered by country’s armed forces in combating militancy, the commission has also retained the special allowances packets announced by the government last year. Commission has also retained the three categories under the Counter Insurgency Operations of intense, moderate and counter insurgency operations in peace areas. While, officers of the Lt Col and above would continue to get Rs 3,900 for intense CI operations, Rs 2,770 for moderate areas and Rs 2,600 for relatively peace areas. — PTI



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