Pay hike: Punjab employees may have to wait till year-end
Over four lakh employees of the Punjab government may have to wait for salary hike till the end of the year. The process of fixation of new pay scales, which would be started afresh as Sixth Punjab Pay Commission chairman RS Mann tendered his resignation on March 21, may take eight to 10 months.punjab Updated: Apr 03, 2017 08:39 IST
Over four lakh employees of the Punjab government may have to wait for salary hike till the end of the year. The process of fixation of new pay scales, which would be started afresh as Sixth Punjab Pay Commission chairman RS Mann tendered his resignation on March 21, may take eight to 10 months.
“The exercise of holding deliberations with associations of state government employees, giving them hearings and deciding new pay scales itself will take several months. It may not be possible to give revised pay scales to state employees before the end of the year,” a finance department official told Hindustan Times.
While Mann had quit the pay panel last month, the Congress government has not named the new chairman or reconstituted the three-member commission. The name of Jai Singh Gill, a retired 1968-batch IAS officer of Punjab cadre, has been doing the rounds for the post. In comparison, the Centre and some state governments, including neighbouring Haryana, have already started giving hiked salaries to their employees, along with arrears for the period from January 1, 2016.
The previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) government in Punjab had set up the three-member pay commission under Mann in February 2016, but was not serious. The other two members – Ajanta Dayalan, a former deputy controller and auditor general of India, and an IAS officer – were appointed after nine months in November 2016. The commission thereafter asked for representations from individuals and their state employees’ unions, receiving about 400 of them by February 20.
Mann, who is a former chief secretary, said the process had taken time because the then government delayed the appointment of members and did not give the support staff and funds to the commission. “Representations are already there. The panel will need to give a hearing to individuals and employees’ representatives, deliberate and then give recommendations. This process will take six to nine months. If there is any truth in the talk that the state government is planning to do the entire exercise again, it may take even longer,” he said.
While most of the four lakh odd government employees in Punjab have been drawing higher salaries than their counterparts in several states, the pay revision, as and when it is finalised, would send its pay and pension bill soaring. In the financial year 2016-17, its employee-related committed liabilities — pay, pension and retirement benefits — alone ate up about 55% of its revenue receipts. The previous government has left pending bills of Rs 17,000 crore, including dearness allowance dues.