'Will implement 6th Pay Commission'
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a hike in the minimum basic pay for the state government employees on Friday. The basic pay of the government employees will now be Rs 17,990 from Rs 7,000. She also announced a gratuity hike from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. The employees will receive their revised salary from January 1, 2020.
"I have received the first part of the report of the Sixth Pay Commission today (Friday) itself. I can say that the government will accept the Commission's recommendations," Banerjee said while addressing an organisational meeting of the state government employees at Netaji Indoor Stadium.
According to Banerjee, the salary hike has been effected through the merger of basic pay and Dearness Allowance in the new pay structure. "For instance, those having a minimum basic pay of Rs 7,000 will now have a gross pay of Rs 17,990 which is minus HRA (House Rent Allowance). Taking HRA, the gross salary will go up to Rs 20,148," she maintained. The pay revision will cost the state exchequer an additional amount of Rs 10,000 crore annually.
Banerjee reiterated that it needs at least two months to implement the new pay scale. "We have our Cabinet meeting scheduled on September 23. The matter will be discussed there. We will then start working on the cadre structure. It will take some time," she added.
It may be mentioned that the Sixth Pay Commission headed by Prof Abhirup Sarkar was formed on November 27, 2015, to restructure the salaries of the state government employees.
She blamed the erstwhile Left Front government for the delay in the implementation of the pay panel's recommendations.
"A section of the government employees has started saying that the state is dragging the issue. I would remind them that during the Left Front rule the government received the Pay Commission report in 2006. But it didn't give effect to it till 2008," she said.
Banerjee further pointed out that the pensionary benefits given to the state government employees in Bengal and the number of holidays enjoyed by them are far more than the rest of the country. "Nowhere in the country does the government give pension benefits as we do. The Central government employees are entitled to contributory pension schemes. The Centre invests the money in the market and gives pension from the yield. There is no guaranteed pension as it is in Bengal," the Chief Minister asserted.