Punjab Govt Announces Hike in Salaries, Pension with an Eye on Assembly Polls Next Year

With barely a few months left for the elections, the Punjab government’s pay commission has recommended a huge salary hike for the government employees. Official sources said that the 6th Pay Commission of the Punjab government has recommended an over 2-fold increase in salaries of all employees, with an increase in minimum pay from Rs 6,950 to Rs 18,000 per month, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016.

The Commission has suggested major hikes in salary and other major benefits, and also substantial increase in allowances for government employees. The average increment in salaries and pensions of employees is expected in the range of 20%, with salaries in for a 2.59 times increase over the 5th Pay Commission recommendations. All major allowances are proposed to be revised upward, translating into 1.5X to 2X increase, with rationalisation in certain allowances, as per the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission.

The report, which was submitted to Punjab Chief Minister Capt. 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 the government’s commitment in the Vidhan Sabha, is to be implemented from July 1 this year.

Incidentally, the report comes at a time when the State’s economy is deeply stressed and the financial situation is precarious amid Coivd-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.

According to a spokesperson of the CM’s office, significant hike has been proposed in the report in pensions and DA, while fixed medical allowance and death cum retirement gratuity are recommended to be doubled under the scheme suggested by the 6th 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.

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