Employees and Pensioners

State government employees sprayed with colored water during protest in Srinagar. Photo by: Bilal Bahadur
State government employees sprayed with colored water during protest in Srinagar. Photo by: Bilal Bahadur

All our development programmes and regulatory functions are being preformed by the government employees and, as such, their welfare too is a legitimate concern of the government. Against serious constraints on our resources, the government has announced adoption of the pay scales recommended by the Sixth Central Pay Commission retrospectively from Ist January, 2006.

We have also authorised them drawal of enhanced pay of July, 2009 in the new pay scales. Sanction of DA in the new pay bands has also been agreed in principle and the rates of DA effective from various dates starting from 1.1.2006 have already been announced. I further announce increase in the rate of DA w.e.f. 1st. January,2009 to 22%. The increased amount of DA at 22% shall be paid in cash from the first of July,2009.

Temporary Move Allowance was fixed at Rs.550 PM a few years back for the moving employees. A demand has been made to the government by our lower grade employees to increase the same. I find the demand is genuine. I announce a new rate of temporary Move Allowance at Rs.650 PM which shall be effective from August, 2009. This measure will involve additional expenditure of about Rs.50 lakh per annum.

Serious misgivings appear to have unnecessarily arisen on account of payment of arrears of pay and pension revision and implementation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission Award. As the Hon’ble members already know, the requirement on this account is over Rs.4000 crore. The demand for allocation of this amount has been already projected to the Thirteenth Finance Commission who have to take a view on this demand, for all States, before finalizing their Award. If this amount is made available in one go, I would be the happiest person to release 100% arrears in cash. I appeal to the good sense of State government employees to maintain their patience on this issue for a little more time till the picture become clear with the Thirteenth Finance Commission Award.

New Pension Scheme

One of the causes of growing concern in budgetary management lies in the ever increasing expenditure on disbursement of pensions in respect of government as well as autonomous bodies, statutory organizations operating on the Grant-in-aid of the government. The annual increase on this expenditure is not within the control of the government. Unlike gradual increase in the salary bills, usually on account of increase in DA rates and normal annual increments in basic pay, the increase in pension bills takes place simultaneously on account of increase DA rates as well as post retirement benefits payable at the time of superannuation. Keeping in view the exponential rate of growth in annual pensionary outgo, it is not difficult to see that an off budget solution to the problem is essential as after some years, may be a couple of decades, it will become absolutely impossible to meet such expenditure out of budgetary provisions.

As this is a universal phenomena, the matter has been discussed time and again at national level with a view to protect the posterity from a financial calamity on this account. The Central Government and several states have introduced a New Pension Scheme where under, the government as employer and the concerned employees make monthly contributions to a pension fund. The incidence of payment of pensions will get shifted to this pension fund. The scheme becomes mandatory for all new recruits after it is notified. The new pension scheme can be created under a proper statute. I propose to bring a bill before this House accordingly so as to enforce the New Pension Scheme from 1st January, 2010.

There has been a long pending demand from Hon’ble Members of the Legislature increasing Constituency Development Fund from the existing level of Rs. 35 lakh with the approval of Hon’ble Chief Minister, I announce increase in Constituency Development Fund from existing level of Rs.35 lakh to Rs.50 lakh. Modified guidelines in this connection shall be issued very soon.

Financial discipline and Austerity measures

We have tried to accommodate genuine needs of the employees to the maximum keeping in view the tight financial resources of the State. We expect that the state government employees, public servants as they are, shall conduct themselves fully to serve the public in real sense with complete dedication and missionary spirit. The government is positively inclined to meet all their other genuine demands and to redress their genuine grievances through mutual consultation in a spirit of good will which should be allowed to prevail.

We had initiated various austerity measures to be followed by all the government departments. These austerity measures have been reiterated from time to time but have gone in disuse. I announce their reiteration once again, with a sincere desire to strictly enforce them. Detailed orders shall be issued separately.

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