Thursday, September 4, 2008

Govt puts payout of arrears first priority

To expedite the payment of salary arrears to lakhs of its employees after implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission's report, the government has waived any “pre-check” of the claims they would be submitting.

This has been done to ensure that arrears are cleared at the earliest when the salary for September is paid to employees on the last working day of the month.

The employees would, however, be required to furnish an undertaking so that the government can later deduct any excess payment made to them due to any miscalculation.

Usually, the drawing and disbursement officer in a government office is supposed to verify the salary and arrear bills of every employee but the one-time exception will save the accounts section the additional burden. It will, however, work out the details of
the dues later.

After the new salaries were notified on August 29, the government came out with a detailed “ready reckoner” that took into account each earlier pay scale and the corresponding change in it.

“The calculation of new salary has become easy but some error may occur while calculating the arrears because increments are involved. It is good that the pre-check requirement has been dispensed with,” an officer said.

Although the employees will have to pay income tax on the arrears, most of them are now busy calculating their dues. Only 40% of the arrears are to be paid during the current fiscal and the remaining 60% will be disbursed in 2009-10. The employees have the option to deposit the arrears in their GPF accounts after deduction of tax. For the payment of the hiked salaries, the employees have been asked to submit a statement of fixation of pay after tallying it with the ready reckoner.

The buzz in government offices is also on a possible “anomaly” in the new scales. The pay band system, officers said, is likely to dilute the motivation for promotion because an employee's salary will, anyway, go on increasing annually.

Under the new rules, there are only four pay bands for all employees and officers with assured annual increments. As a result, a large number of employees, despite their in-cadre seniority, would be placed in the same pay band for a considerable period.

“The financial premium on promotions will certainly get diluted. We need to see what impact the new system has on the motivation levels of employees,” a director dealing with accounts said.
Source : The Times of India

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