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The Finance Division (FD) has assured the protesting Pakistan Secretariat employees of proposing suitable pay raise in the next budget for the financial year 2020-2021.

The Pakistan Secretariat employees were on a pen-down strike in the federal capital over delay in pay raises.

The employees said that they had staged an 11-day-long protest earlier in February, after which the government had engaged in talks with them and promised to revise their salaries by March 5. That promise failed to materialise, forcing the employees to go on strike.

The Ministry of Finance has held meetings with the federal government employees in response to the strike call by the Secretariat employees for raising their salaries to assure them that their proposals will be duly considered and proposed to the government in the next budget.

The Finance Division on Thursday issued a statement saying that on the instructions of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, separate meetings of Secretary Finance as well as Special Secretary Finance had been held with the protesting employees to get a full understanding and awareness of the financial constraints, and problems of the government employees due to the inflation.

The statement said that the government understood and acknowledged the difficulties and economic constraints faced by the federal government employees and in view of their inputs obtained in the meetings held, proposal for a suitable raise in their salaries would be prepared by factoring in the overall economic situation, and available fiscal space and incorporated in the upcoming federal budget 2020-2021.

The protesters, which included Grade 1-22 officers and their staff, noted that despite being of the same rank and grade, their remuneration was less than half of what civil servants in other public departments were being paid.

They claimed they had been promised a 120 percent pay raise in prior discussions with official representatives on February 27.

Hundreds of Pakistan Secretariat employees were on protest asking the government to increase their salaries on the pattern of the PM Office, the President House, the NAB, the FIA, the FBR and the judiciary. The government had agreed in principle to the demand of public sector employees but it is yet to be fulfilled.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020