Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gross salary hike - 20% to 120% : Times of India

Lakhs of central government employees will know their new salary scales any day after Holi as the Sixth Pay Commission is almost ready with its final report, subject to some possible changes in the wake of formal or informal interactions with finance ministry.

Commission sources, however, remained tight lipped on the quantum of salary hike. "It is a closely guarded secret at our highest levels and may undergo last-minute changes," they said.

The sources, however, indicated a "moderate" jump despite the soaring hopes of most government employees — ranging from 20% to 120% of their present gross emoluments — when corporate salaries are at an all-time high.

"The finance minister has said that 'legitimate expectations' of government employees would be met. The commission, in consultation with the finance ministry, has to ensure that their definitions of 'legitimate expectations' do not clash. This, because the money, after all, will be provided by a tight-fisted finance ministry," the sources said.

The new scales would also decide the emoluments of defence and paramilitary forces, besides post-retirement benefits of all employees and officers, including the pension they would draw.

That the countdown has begun was indicated in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday when minister of state for finance, P K Bansal, said that no proposal for grant of interim relief to the employees was under government's consideration. The government has recently hiked the employees' DA from 41% to 47%, calculated on their basic pay taken with 50% (of basic) merged dearness pay.

Figures apart, the commission has taken the help of three leading institutes to work out exhaustive compensation and pension regimes. IIM-A has done a study on the feasibility of performance-related pay (PRP) to government employees while XLRI-Jamshedpur has advised on the total cost incurred by government on its employees in all grades (equivalent of the corporate cost-to-company).

The third study, done by Institute of Social and Economic Change (Bangalore), has focused on the government's oft-stated principle of reducing its post-retirement liabilities in the "long-term".

Source : Times of India
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