Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pay panel estimates 150% civil service salary hike

Government salaries may literally give India Inc a run for its money, if one of the latest estimates of salary revisions by the Sixth Pay Commission is to be believed. Basic salaries are likely to rise by over 150%. However, the actual payout may be more moderated, as inclusive of all allowances, existing salaries are not far below the new slabs.

Section officers will get a starting basic salary of Rs 20,000, while their department heads, joint secretaries, would get a fixed basic salary of Rs 60,000 a month. Basic pay for section officers currently begins at Rs 8,000 a month.

Secretaries to the government would earn a fixed salary of Rs 75,000 a month. A cabinet secretary’s monthly salary would also be fixed at Rs 80,000. At each grade, the 5.5 million central government employees would earn an inflation-neutralising dearness allowance (DA) of 6% of basic. The minimum scale for non-executives is likely to be hiked to Rs 6,500 a month, from the present Rs 2,550 a month.

The buzz around the Sixth Pay Commission has grown louder with the panel headed by Justice BN Srikrishna expected to submit its report next week. The good news, however, may just stop here. Contrary to expectations, government officials will continue to retire at 60 years. The plan to increase the retirement age has been shelved, according to the Pay Commission estimates, a copy of which is with FE. The Commission, though, is expected to recommend that officials will now retire on December 31 of the year they reach age 60.

Other allowances—including DA, house rent and travel benefits, linked to basic pay—would also increase. DA would be hiked by 6% retrospectively from January 1, 2007 and 14% from this year, according to this estimate. House rent is proposed to be hiked by 30% of basic for metros, but with a cap of Rs 12,000. While the recommendations are effective from January 1, 2006, arrears would be given only from January 1, 2007.
Source: Financial Express