Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 28
Nearly five years after the Sixth Pay Commission was set up for the 5 lakh government and semi-government employees and four lakh pensioners, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal has announced that the recommendations on new pay-scales will be implemented during the 2020-21 financial year.
Manpreet said he had kept a cushion of Rs 4,000 crore in his proposals to implement the enhanced pay- scales to employees. While the salary and wage bill of the government has been increased by Rs 2,189.8 crore in the coming fiscal, the amount kept aside for paying pensions has been increased by Rs 2,054 crore to Rs 12,267 crore. The money set aside for paying pension also includes the retirement benefits to be given to all those employees, who got a two-year extension in their service.
It may be mentioned that the Sixth Pay Commission for employees was set up by the previous Akali-BJP government in November 2015. However, after the Congress government assumed power, the three-member commission was reconstituted under former Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill. The commission had earlier said the recommendations would be given to the state government in 2019, and the Capt Amarinder Singh government had assured employees that the new scales would be implemented before December 2019.
DA arrears this year
In two other decisions related to employees, FM Manpreet Badal announced that 6 per cent arrears of dearness allowance would be given to employees this year, entailing an expenditure of Rs1,000 crore. He said in another decision, the policy of giving extension in service had been withdrawn.