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Pay panel recommends two-fold salary hike for Punjab employees

2 weeks ago 8

CHANDIGARH: In a major bonanza for government employees, the Sixth Pay Commission of the Punjab government has recommended an over two-fold increase in the salaries of all employees, with an increase in minimum pay from Rs 6,950 to Rs 18,000 per month, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016.

The commission has suggested major hikes in salary and other benefits, and also a substantial increase in allowances for government employees.

Salaries are in for a 2.59 times increase over the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations.

The report, which was submitted to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh recently has been sent to the Finance Department for detailed study and directions for placing it before the Cabinet this month for further action.

The report, as per the government's commitment in the Vidhan Sabha, is to be implemented from July 1 this year.

Incidentally, the report comes at a time when the state's economy is already deeply stressed and the financial situation is precarious amid Covid, with taxes not going up and even GST compensation slated to end from next year.

The Finance Department will examine the various implications before submitting the report to the Cabinet for further action.

According to a spokesperson for the CM's office, a significant hike has been proposed in the report in pensions and DA, while fixed medical allowance and death-cum-retirement gratuity are recommended to be doubled under the scheme suggested by the Sixth Pay Commission.

While fixed medical allowance has been recommended to be doubled to Rs 1,000 per month for employees as well as pensioners uniformly, the maximum limit of death-cum-retirement gratuity is proposed to be enhanced from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

Enhancement in ex-gratia grant rates in the case of the death of a government employee, as also in the case of death in harness directly attributable to the duty performed is another key recommendation aimed at benefitting the employees.

This is significant in view of the prevailing pandemic crisis, where a large number of government employees are working as frontline workers, with many of them losing their lives in the line of duty.

The Commission has also suggested doubling of design allowance to engineering staff and kit maintenance allowance to police personnel, with mobile allowance enhancement varying from Rs 375 to Rs 750.

While implementation of the recommendations relating to pay and pension has been recommended from January 1, 2016, those relating to allowances are recommended from the date of notification by the government.

The recommendations of the commission would likely lead to an additional expenditure of Rs 3,500 crores per annum, said an official spokesperson.

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