Salary-hike bonanza for Gujarat government employees

December 16th, 2008 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, Dec 16 (IANS) It is celebration time for the Gujarat government employees as a state committee Tuesday decided to implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, hiking salaries of nearly 900,000-strong staff.The committee headed by Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala with representatives of various employee unions and federations took the decision that remains to be approved by the state cabinet.

Secretary (Economic Affairs, Finance) Tapan Ray told mediapersons: “The financial health of the government is good, and it will not face any difficulty in implementing the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations.”

He, however, declined to comment how the government would shoulder the additional burden of Rs.9,000 crore (Rs.90 billion) in terms of paying the arrears and enhanced salaries.

The announcement led to jubilations near the union office in the Old Secretariat complex.

“The firecrackers that are bursting show that our struggle is bearing fruit,” said Mafatlal Joshi, convener of the Gujarat State Employees Coordination Committee.

Nearly 900,000 employees will benefit from the wage revision and will get arrears from Jan 1, 2006, Joshi told IANS, adding: “The government employees will get the same benefits as their central government counterparts.”

K.M. Patanwadia, convener of the United Forum of Gujarat State Government Employees and Officers Association, said: “If the decision is seen vis-à-vis 10 to 12 other states, then the deal is satisfactory. However, the government employees are still unhappy and feel let-down as there are no changes in CCA, transport and medical allowance compared to the last pay commission.”

The decision is bound to impose an additional burden on government exchequer - Rs.6,000 crore (Rs.60 billion) in arrears and another Rs.3,000 crore (Rs.30 billion) a year as enhanced salaries including dearness and house rent allowances.

The issue of pay panel recommendations had become a bone of contention between the state government and employees.

Employee unions and federations called for mass leave Dec 5 in which over 800,000 employees participated. The government then held talks with the unions and worked out a compromise.

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