Govt. employees protest against pay panel recommendations

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New Delhi, Apr 11 : Anomalies in salary recommendations made by the Sixth Pay Commission invited an outcry from government employees at a rally in here on Friday.

Central Government employees, claim that lower level employees stand to benefit less than those positioned in higher levels.

Government officials have complained that the salary suggested by the panel increases at much higher rate with the hierarchy.

"Our main demand is that the pay scale should be prioritised. Secondly, the minimum Travel Allowance (TA) should be at least rupees 16,000. These are the two main demands," said Sunil Kumar, a government employee.

Complaining that the minimum wage determined by the Sixth Pay Commission was even lower than the one proposed by the previous Fifth Pay Commission, the employees contended that the minimum wage has been fixed at Rs 5,740 only.

They demanded fixation of minimum wage as per norms formulated by the 15th Indian Labour Conference, which works out to Rs 10,000 per month.

"All government employees are with us. We will fight it all out together. Earlier the ratio used to be 1 ratio 8 and now the ratio is 1 ratio 15. This kind of discrimination is wrong. The basic pay of Group D should be at least rupees 10,000," said A K Sharma, another protesting employee.

The recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission for more than 3 million Central government employees would cost 3.1 billion dollars in the 2008-09 fiscal year, plus 4.5 billion dollars to backdate it to January 2006.

But, there has been rising discontent among government employees, armed forces and Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers over the pay panel recommendations.

The Central United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has drawn flak from various quarters over the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission as employees say that it does not correspond to the increased cost of living.

Government employees, armed forces, teachers and the IAS officers have all voiced their grievances against the recommendations amid concern that it will increase inequality in the society.

Amidst the outcry, the Cabinet on today announced that it would set up a committee to look into the pay recommendations.

Kapil Sibal, the Minister of State told mediapersons that a specially empowered committee headed by the Central cabinet secretary will look into issues in-depth and then the cabinet would take a view on it.

Analysts say the increase in wages could derail India's moves to tidy up its public finances and widen the fiscal deficit, which the government aims to limit at 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product in 2008-09, down from 3.1 per cent in 2007-08.

ANI

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