Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revised wages to cost govt `2,400 cr more

DNA Correspondent l Gandhinagar

The Gujarat high court’s direction to the state government to pay fixed-wage employees wages as per the sixth pay commission’s recommendations is expected to put an additional burden of around Rs200 crore per month on the state exchequer.
There are currently an estimated 1.50 lakh employees drawing fixed wages, most of whom were appointed as police lok rakshak, teaching assistants, home guards, health workers, junior clerks and drivers, among others. They are drawing fixed wages ranging from Rs2,500 to Rs6,000 per month.
Following the high court order, each of the fixed-wage earners would be eligible for a payment of a minimum Rs16,000 per month, a significant increase over what they are currently drawing.
State government officials said that the exact figures of the additional burden were not available. However, back of the hand calculations show that this would hike the government’s salary bill by around Rs175 crore - Rs200 crore per month - i.e. Rs2,100 crore to Rs2,400 crore in a year.
Moreover, the state government would also have to pay arrears to the fixed wage earners with retrospective effect from the date of their appointment. The payment of arrears too would lead to significant financial burden on the government, officials said. However, the officials declined to provide exact figures. The Gujarat State Employees Coordination Committee welcomed the high court order and appealed to the state government to show 'sadbhavna' towards fixed wage earners by implementing the HC direction at the earliest. Gujarat State Primary Teachers' Association president Chandu Joshi said that there is a difference of a staggering Rs35,000 in the salaries of primary teaching assistants and teachers.


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