Friday, December 6, 2013

Andhra employees may not get any interim relief

In a big disappointment for nearly 12 lakh government employees and pensioners in the state, the Govt. has reportedly decided not to grant interim relief to them ahead of the tenth pay commission submitting its recommendations.

While the APNGOs had pleaded for 50 per cent of basic pay as interim relief, all other employee associations had sought 45 per cent interim relief of the proposed salary increase. However, according to sources, the finance department told the government that it is 'near impossible' to provide relief which works out to around Rs 12,500 crore.

Until 1974, the pay scales of state government employees were revised once in 10 years. However, since then, it has been done once in every five years. As it coincides with general elections, the revision becomes a handy tool for politicians to influence the employees in their favour.According to sources, the cost of providing subsidies has shot up. "For providing the Re 1 kg rice and other civil supplies, the government is now paying Rs 4,500 crore as against Rs 3,000 crore last year. Similarly, the subsidy on providing free power to farmers has gone up to Rs 7000 crore from Rs 5,500 crore. Likewise, the subsidies on scholarship, fee reimbursement and social security pensions too have become costlier due to the increasing number of beneficiaries, said sources.

The last pay revision was effected from July 2008. However, the revised salaries were paid only from February 2010 with the earlier arrears being added to the provident fund of the employees. After various employees service associations sought another revision, the state constituted the 1oth Pay Revision Commission under the chairmanship of P K Agarwal on February 28 this year. The commission is slated to submit its report by this month-end.

"The associations, which faced the wrath of their members for forcing them into various strikes are pressing for interim relief," said sources in the government. "Both the Seemandhra and Telangana employees lost salaries totaling Rs 3,500 crore during their agitations. It would be only fair if the government announces interim relief ahead of the pay revision," said an office-bearer of an employees' association from the Telangana region.

Whether the finance department pays heed to their demands remains to be seen.

Source : Times of India

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