Cabinet gives nod to fifth pay commission

Former State chief secretary P.J. Bazeley to head panel

SHILLONG: The State cabinet has approved the formation of the fifth pay commission to increase the salaries, allowances and pension of State government employees.
Briefing the media after a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that since the last revision of pay took effect from January 1, 2007 as per the recommendations of the fourth finance commission, the Finance department has brought the proposal for the formation of the fifth pay commission.
The cabinet gave nod to the appointment of former chief secretary P.J. Bazeley as chairman of the fifth pay commission with former NEC secretary Uttam Kumar Sangma and former Education official L. Roy as members.
The chief minister said the pay commission will be notified immediately fixing the time frame for the commission to complete the whole exercise.
The usual procedure is that after the exercise is completed by the pay commission, the recommendations are sent to the cabinet for approval.
It is only after getting the recommendations from the pay commission that the cabinet will decide whether the pay hike should be implemented from retrospective effect or not.
The chief minister admitted there will be additional burden on the State exchequer.
According to the chief minister, the purpose of forming the new panel is in view of the commitment made to the people by the government.
“While we expect better returns from the employees, we want to ensure that they are not hard pressed,” he said.
Though the State government is reeling under financial constrains following the NGT ban on coal mining, the cabinet felt the government employees should not be affected due to this.
An official with the Finance department said currently, there are 55,860 State government employees and the government is spending around Rs 400 crore per month as salary and pension of the government employees.
After the formation of the last fourth pay commission headed by former IAS official K.K. Sinha on September 20, 2007, it was in 2009 during the tenure of D.D. Lapang as Chief Minister and Mukul Sangma as Deputy Chief Minister in charge Finance, that the State cabinet had announced an overall pay hike of 32 per cent for all its employees with retrospective effect from January 1, 2007 based on the pay commission recommendations.
Recently, the seventh central pay commission had recommended 23 per cent hike in salaries of central government employees.
If the new fifth pay commission recommends hike in the salary of State employees by 25 per cent, an additional Rs 100 crore more will have to      be incurred per month by the State government from the current Rs 400 crore per month which will come to a total of at least Rs 500 crore per month.

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