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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Govt rejects four pay panel suggestions

Four recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, including only three closed holidays for government employees, flexi-hours for women and flexi-weeks for the disabled, have been rejected, says the official notification and resolution of the revised central government pay rules, issued on Friday night.

The proposal to provide a liberal severance package to those employees who wish to leave service between 15 years and 20 years without taking pension has also been rejected.

The government will also examine as many as 10 recommendations, including granting bonus and overtime allowance, corporatising Indian Railways, abolishing the Indian Telecom Service and the Telecom Commission and introduction of a health insurance scheme for central government employees and pensioners, the resolution states.

The proposal to outsource the process of commutation of pension to a public sector bank or institution will also be looked into separately. No time frame has been specified for the same.

The government has also notified the improved and modified three pay bands, and changed grade pays. It has also notified the additional increment of 3 per cent to Indian Administrative Service and Indian Foreign Service officers over other services in three grades. The dearness allowance has been made effective from January 1, 2006.

The resolution makes it clear that the chairpersons and members of five regulators — Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and Competition Commission of India (CCI) — will receive Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh per month, respectively.

On August 14, the Union Cabinet had approved an improved version of the Sixth Pay Commission award with effect from January 1, 2006.

Consequently, an estimated 4.6 million central employees will receive a raise of between 28 per cent and 40 per cent over their existing basic pay. Employees will start receiving their higher salaries and allowances with effect from September this year.