ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed displeasure at the inordinate delay in finalisation of Pay and Pension Commission and constituted a committee to evaluate the work done by the commission while chairing a cabinet committee meeting.
On June 8, 2021, federal cabinet headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan constituted a committee to evaluate the work done by Pay & Pension Commission on creation of Pension Fund, work out modalities to expedite the same and recommend a way forward.
Minister for Finance & Revenue (Convener), Minister for Industries & Production, Minister for Communications, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms & Austerity, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Establishment, and representatives from the Finance Division will be members of the committee. The establishment of the committee will be notified in the current month, sources said.
Due to delay in finalisation of Pay and Pension Commission Report, federal government was compelled to grant an interim 25 percent disparity reduction allowance to the public sector employees from grade 1 to 19.
Sources said the government might also extend 25 percent disparity reduction allowance to the public sector employees of grade 20 to 22 as an interim relief for the first quarter (July-September) of next financial year 2021-22.
The disparity allowance will be applicable till the finalization of Pay and Pension comprehensive report. The report will likely be finalized in September 2021, sources maintained.
The government also announced a 10 percent ad hoc allowance increase on salaries next financial year in addition to providing a 25 percent disparity reduction allowance to employees in grade 1-19 from April 2021. “Public sector employees will be granted 35 percent raise (disparity reduction allowance/salary) with effect from July 1, 2021,” a representative of All Government Employees Grand Alliance told Business Recorder.
Disparity allowance has been granted to 58 employees including employees serving the president and prime minister. The officers serving in grade 20 to 22 are not entitled to the interim allowance.
The Pay and Pension Commission, led by Nargis Sethi, submitted its interim report before the government in February 2021 and recommended a raise in both salaries and pension for public sector employees in the budget for 2021-22. The government, however, decided to increase salaries within the range of 25 percent with an objective of reducing disparity within ministries/divisions and departments and introduction of contributory pension for new recruits next fiscal year.
The decision to grant disparity allowance was taken on February 10, 2021, after the capital saw tear gas shelling amid protests by hundreds of government employees against inflation and no raise in their salaries in the current financial year.
Sources said that finance minister might share total allocation for interim relief and 10 percent increase in salary in next financial year in his concluding speech on budget in Parliament scheduled for 24 June (tomorrow).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021