CHANDIGARH: In a major additional Rs 1500 crore bonanza for government employees and pensioners, the Punjab government has decided to further hike their basic pay by a minimum of 15% over and above the basic pay as on Dec 31, 2015, in addition to restoration of certain allowances.
With this, the total average increase in salary/pension per employee has gone up to Rs 1.05 lakh per annum, from the earlier Rs. 79,250 per annum that they were getting following the government’s decision to accept the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission with effect from July 1, 2021, which had earlier led to a Rs 4700 crore bonanza for the employees.
The decision on further hike was taken at today’s Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who directed all Ministers, Administrative Secretaries and Heads of Departments to talk to their respective employees for early redressal of their grievances. While all reasonable demands of the employees should be resolved following today’s announcements, he made it clear that strict action should be taken, as per rules, if the employees continue to agitate.
The Chief Minister appreciated the efforts of Cabinet Minister Brahm Mahindra and others in resolving the grievances of the 2.85 lakh employees and 3.07 lakh pensioners, who will benefit from today’s decisions, which will cost the government exchequer a total salary/pension bill of Rs. 42673 Crore per annum.
Captain Amarinder pointed out that all operational allowances have not only been retained but also doubled in absolute terms over what they were being paid earlier, with the cabinet decision to restore common allowances, such as Fixed Medical Allowance, Mobile Allowance, Conveyance Allowance and City Compensatory Allowance (CCA), at the revised rates (2.59 X 0.8), w.e.f 01.07.2021.
The Cabinet also approved treating of Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) admissible to Doctors at the rate of 20% of revised Basic Pay as Pay, with Secretariat Pay for Employees (Working in Punjab Civil Secretariat) to be doubled w.e.f. 01.07.2021 and also to be treated as Pay.
Further, employees covered under National Pension Scheme have now given cover under family pension in case of death-in-harness, with the adoption of Family Pension guidelines dated 05.05.2009 and subsequent linked instructions dated 04.09.2019 with suitable State Government modifications in respect of employees covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS) as applicable to similarly placed employees in Government of India, as per the provisions under the Punjab Civil Services Rules- Volume II.
The Cabinet also decided that service rendered during the probation period shall be counted for the purpose of ACP, as already being done by the Department of General Administration.
The decisions taken by the cabinet are based on the recommendations of the committee of the Group of Ministers, headed by Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra, to consider the demands of various categories of employees. Constituted on June 25, 2021, the committee also comprised Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, Social Justice Empowerment Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Medical Education & Research Minister OP Soni. An Officers Committee consisting of Principal Secretary Finance, Principal Secretary, Health and Principal Secretary, Personnel, was also constituted to consider the issue.
After having a series of meeting with the various Employees Associations, the Officers Committee submitted its Report, which was then considered by the Group of Ministers, that also heard employee association representatives in-person and gave its recommendations to the council of ministers.