In a major bonus for government employees, the Sixth Pay Commission of the Punjab government has recommended a two-fold increase in the salaries of all employees, with the minimum wage being increased from Rs 6,950 to Rs 18,000. The commission has suggested a major increase in salary and other benefits, and has also significantly increased allowances for government employees. The pay increase is 2.59 times on the recommendations of the Pay Commission. The report, which was submitted to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has recently been sent to the Finance Department for a detailed study and has been directed to put it before the cabinet for further action this month. As per the commitment of the government in the Legislative Assembly, the report 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 among Kovid is uncertain, taxes are not going up and even GST compensation has lapsed by next year.
The Finance Department will examine various implications before submitting a report to the cabinet for further action. According to a spokesperson for the CM office, a significant increase in pension and DA has been proposed in the report, while the fixed pay allowance and death-cum-retirement gratuity have been doubled under the scheme suggested by the Sixth Pay Commission. While the fixed medical allowance has been recommended to be doubled to Rs 1,000 per month for employees as well as pensioners alike, the maximum limit for death-cum-retirement gratuity is proposed to be increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. .
An increase in the ex-gratia rates in case of death of a government employee, as is also done in the case of death directly for the duty performed, is another important recommendation aimed at benefiting the employees. This is significant in view of the prevailing epidemic crisis, where a large number of government employees are working as frontline workers, many of whom are losing their lives while on duty. The commission has also suggested doubling the design allowance to engineering staff and giving kit maintenance allowance to police personnel, in which the mobile allowance increase has been increased from Rs 375 to Rs 750. Implementation of recommendations related to salary and pension has been recommended from 1 January 2016, while those related to allowances have been recommended by the government from the date of notification. The official spokesman said that with the recommendations of the Commission, an additional expenditure of Rs 3,500 crore will be incurred every year.