The Meghalaya government has announced an overall pay hike of 32 per cent for all its employees, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2007.

After a cabinet meeting on Wednesday night, Chief Minister DD Lapang said the revised pay scale as recommended by the state’s fourth pay commission will be implemented from October 1 onwards.

The state government will have to spend Rs 330 crore annually on salaries of about 70,000 employees.

Arrears, amounting to Rs 660 crore, would be divided between the current financial year and the subsequent years in the ratio of 40:60.

Meghalaya will require Rs 545 crore to implement the new pay scales. “The central government has assured us of a Rs 260 crore assistance for the purpose,” Lapang said adding that for the remaining amount the state government will have to mobilise additional resources.

All permanent state government employees having completed ten years of service would be entitled to full pension and those working in rural areas will enjoy rural allowances, he said.

In another decision, the cabinet has decided to waive 95 per cent of the entertainment tax on local entertainment programmes.

“I hope this decision of the government will encourage the local artistes who are in the field of entertainment,” the chief minister said.