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Salary raise in budget 2017-18: Miserable feelings for the educationists

School teachers, college lecturers and university professors slammed the government’s decision to increase their salaries by just 10 percent in 2017-18 federal budgets. The school teachers’ representative body, The Punjab Teachers’ Union (PTU), said the 10 percent increase was not supportable. They added that with increasing prices, the government should reconsider the decision. The statement demanded that the government increase salaries by at least 20 percent for employees and raise pensions by 30 percent hike. The government maintained double standards for members of the parliaments and government servants.

University teachers also expressed similar sentiments towards the pay rise. They added that with increasing prices, the government should reconsider the decision. The statement demanded that the government increase salaries by at least 20 percent for employees and raise pensions by 30 percent hike. The PTU, meanwhile, appreciated the decision to add ad-hoc relief allowance to the basic salary of all public sector employees.

The government maintained double standards for members of the parliaments and government servants. The members got their allowances almost doubled recently, whereas the raise for government servants could be termed as a nasty joke.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presented the fifth budget of the incumbent government with total outlay of Rs 4.778 trillion. For the next fiscal year, Dar announced merger of ad hoc relief of 2010 for Civil Servants in the basic salary and topped it up with a 10 percent ad hoc relief 2017. He announced exemption of employees up to BPS-5 from the house rent deduction, while an increase of up to 60 percent in daily allowance rate, peon allowance raised from Rs 12,000 to Rs 14,000, payment for burial etc rose from Rs 1600 to Rs 4800 and from Rs 5000 to Rs 15000. He said the allowances for Pakistan Post employees were also being increased, besides a 50 percent increase in design allowance.

Earlier in 2016, the incumbent government had announced a same 10 percent increase in the salaries of federal government employees under the budget 2016-17. 10 percent ad-hoc relief allowance on running basic pay will be allowed to all the federal government employees with effect from July 1, 2016.

Similarly, the government had announced 10 percent increase in net pension to all pensioners of federal government with effect from July 1. A 25 percent raise in net pension to all pensioners of federal government above the age of 85 years will also be in effect from July 1.

According to details, ad-hoc reliefs added in 2009-10 will be incorporated into the salaries. A 10 percent special allowance will also be provided in the salaries of Pakistan Army soldiers.

The Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue recommended 20 percent increase in government employees’ salaries and pensions. The Pakistan government has notified a special increase in the pay, allowances and pension of its employees with effect from July 1, official sources said here.

The finance ministry issued office memorandums announcing that the president had sanctioned revision of rates of special pay and allowances; grant of ad hoc allowance and medical allowance; increase in pension of retired civilian and armed forces’ personnel; increase in family pension; minimum pension; and grant of medical allowance to civilian pensioners.

The night duty allowance for assistants and clerks has been increased from Rs10 to Rs40 and for staff car drivers, dispatch riders and naib qasids (peons) from Rs5 to Rs25 per night.

The conveyance charges for late sitting employees in BPS [basic pay scale] 1 to 15 and 16 (non-gazetted); excluding drivers and dispatch riders, on working days has been increased from Rs12 to Rs50 per day. The allowance for holidays has been increased from Rs18 to Rs75.

The special pays of private secretaries and personal assistants have also been increased. According to a memorandum, a private secretary to a federal minister or minister of state will now get Rs1, 000 instead of Rs500 per month.

A private secretary to a ministry’s secretary will get Rs800 per month instead of Rs400 and private secretary to additional secretary Rs600 instead of Rs300. The special pay of personal assistants to ministers, ministers of state, secretaries and additional secretary had been increased from Rs200 to Rs400 of personal assistants to joint secretaries from Rs160 to Rs320.

The daily allowance within the country for BPS 12 to 16 has been increased from Rs280 to Rs500 (ordinary) and Rs365 to Rs600 (special) and for BPS 5 to 11 from Rs155 to Rs220 (ordinary) and Rs200 to Rs440 (special).

Pensioners who retired before December 1, 2001, will get a raise of 20 per cent and those who retired later of 15 per cent. The president has sanctioned an increase in the rate of family pension from 50 percent to 75 per cent.

Medical allowance has been introduced for all civilian pensioners of the federal government, including civilians paid from the defence budget. Those who retired or will retire in BPS 1 to15 will get 25 per cent and those in BPS 16 to 22 20 per cent of their pension as medical allowance.

The ministry announced that the president had sanctioned an ad hoc allowance of 50 per cent of the basic pay of Rs24, 465, included in a package of Rs31, 500, to the section officers re-employed against civil posts on a contract basis.

An ad hoc allowance equivalent to 50 per cent of the existing basic pay of the scales of 2008 for all civilian employees of the government and civilians paid from the defence budget, including contingent paid staff and contract employees employed against civilian posts in basic pay scales on standard terms and conditions or contract appointment has also been sanctioned.

On recommendation of the Pay and Pension Commission, medical allowance in lieu of outdoor treatment and reimbursement of medical expenses has been granted at the rate of Rs1, 000 per month, up from Rs500, for BPS 1 to 15 and 16 (non-gazetted) and 15 per cent of the basic pay for officials in BPS 16 to 22.

The facility of reimbursement of amounts spent on purchase of medicines by government servants and local purchase of medicines by government hospitals for outdoor patient will be discontinued.

However, the existing facilities for consultation and diagnostic investigations at outpatient departments will continue.

Reimbursement and local purchase will be admissible for OPD patients of cancer, hepatitis B and C and insulin-dependent diabetes. The facility of re-imbursement of expenditure on indoor medical treatment will continue as before.

The government always talks about providing relief to people in the budget. But for always these claims they have to face bitter criticism.

The finance minister in the budget 2017-18 spoke sweet words of increasing salaries and benefits of Government employees and providing relief to private individuals.

In the budget 2017-18, the government has given 10 percent ad-hoc relief to government employees and allowed an increase of pension of the retired employees with the similar amount.

A 10 percent special Zarb-e-Azab allowance will be given to Army personals, and the government has abolished 5 percent house rent for grade five officer. Also, 2 percent allowance will be awarded to children of government employees who die during service. In recognition of their sacrifices, Frontier Constabulary will be entitled to Rs 8000 per month allowance. Also, a new financial scheme is introduced for the families of martyred army and police official.

Against this, the government has allocated a hefty amount of one billion and 650 million for the salary and allowances of parliamentarians. The ad-hoc allowance pay and pension increase in the budget is a little bit complex.

The previous year revised pay chart from July 2016 to June 2017 clearly shows the basic pays of government officers from BPS-1 to BPS-22.

Ad-hoc relief of 10 percent will be added to basic pays of the previous year and also to overall salaries, so the accumulates increase will be 20 percent.

So, there is a 10 percent increase in basic pay and 10 percent in overall pay. A 10 percent another relief is given to government employees on pensions. The government has given something; it has recovered it through another way.

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