Punjab’s sixth pay commission has recommended an over two-fold jump in salaries of all state government employees, and an increase in minimum pay from Rs 6,950 to Rs 18,000 per month, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016, an official said on Tuesday.
The recommendations of the commission are likely to lead to an additional expenditure of Rs 3,500 crore per annum from 2016, said an official spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office.
The average increment in salaries and pensions of employees is expected in the range of 20 per cent, with salaries in for a 2.59 times increase over the fifth pay commission recommendations, said the spokesperson.
All major allowances are proposed to be revised upward, with rationalisation in certain allowances, as per the recommendations of the sixth pay commission.
The report, which was submitted to 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 government’s commitment in the Vidhan Sabha, is to be implemented from July 1 this year, said the spokesperson.
The report comes at a time when the state’s economy is already deeply stressed and the financial situation is precarious due to the COVID-19 pandemic 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.
A significant hike has been proposed in the report in pensions and dearness allowance, 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 death of a government employee, as also in case of death in harness directly attributable to the duty performed, is another key recommendation aimed at benefiting government 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 further recommended that the present system of dearness allowance on central pattern should continue and dearness allowance be converted into dearness pay each time the index increases by 50 per cent, to be counted for all purposes including retirement benefits.
For pensions, the revision suggested by the commission is by the application of a simple factor of 2.59.
Further, pension should continue to be paid at 50 per cent of the last pay drawn, on completion of 25 years of qualifying service, as per the commission recommendations.
The commission has suggested that old age allowance for pensioners and family pensioners, at the existing intervals of five years from the age of 65 years onwards, should continue on revised pension.
It has also recommended commutation of pension to be restored to 40 per cent.
Though the existing classification of the categories of cities for HRA is proposed to be retained, with rationalisation in house rent allowance, the commission has recommended introduction of several new allowance categories, including higher education allowance in the form of lump sum rate for all employees acquiring higher qualification.
Chaired by former IAS officer Jai Singh Gill, the commission, appointed by the then state government on February 24, 2016, submitted its report on April 30, 2021.
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