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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Wednesday said the government was ready to notify an increase of 25 percent in the salaries of government employees from Grade 1 to 16.

Addressing a joint press conference after a meeting of three-member government's committee headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Rasheed said that all the matters with the federal employees will be resolved amicably and with mutual understanding.

He was also flanked by Khattak and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan.

He said that it was the top priority of the present government to resolve issues of the government employees.

Political parties were trying to use the protest for their personal gains, he said, adding that the government and the government employees were the same, and the opposition need not to interfere.

“Service rules are applicable on government employees and not political leaders. Therefore, the public servants should raise voice for their own rights instead of becoming tools at the hands of the political parties.”

Earlier, we were discussing matter related to raising of salaries of government employees from grade-1 to 16 but now officers of grade-22 also demanded increase in the their salaries, he said, adding that we were suspecting from day one that officers of grade-22 were standing behind them.

The minister said that the increase in salaries of provincial employees was a provincial government subject.

“They were asked that after 18th amendment its provincial government’s domain to increase their salaries and they are responsible to resolve their issues,” he said, adding that the committee can also visit provincial governments along with these employees to resolve their matters.

Khattak said that the committee which was holding talks with the employees, agreed over several demands including the upgradation of scales.

He said that the government was ready to extend relief to the employees in the form of a special allowance till the presentation of the next budget.

He said that the government employees are demanding 40 percent increase in basic pay, while the government has offered them 25 percent increase in basic pay.

He said that the recommendations of the Pay and Pension Commission would be incorporated in the next budget.

He said that it was earlier agreed that the salaries of employees from grade-1 to 16 will be increased but yesterday, the employees demanded the increase for all the employees.

The defence minister said that we are ready to again hold talks with them but clarified that any relief will be given keeping in view the current economic situation of the country.

Government will increase salaries of employees as much as it can but if they want to increase according to their own desire, it would be difficult for the government, he said.

Ali Muhammad Khan said that resolution of the issues of the people is the responsibility of the state, and the government is committed to the issues of the government employees.

He said that the present government was concerned about the issues of the employees.

When for the first time, the employees held a protest; he and Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri met them and brought the issue to the notice of the prime minister.

The prime minister formed a high-powered committee comprising me, Pervaiz Khattak, and Arbab Shehzad, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021