Ashok Dasgupta

Pay Commission for performance-related incentive scheme

“The age of superannuation should be retained at 60”

The Commission has suggested major benefits for pensioners

NEW DELHI: As per the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, the Cabinet Secretary, as the senior-most bureaucrat, will be the biggest beneficiary with a fixed revised package of Rs. 90,000 a month, while Secretaries of various Ministries and departments will draw a fixed salary of Rs. 80,000.

At the entry level, the minimum monthly salary of an employee has been pegged at Rs. 6,660 in a pay structure so drawn up as to guard against stagnation. The disparity in the salary between the lowest paid and the highest paid government employee is estimated at 1:12.

Special treatment has been accorded to women, with the Commission recommending increased maternity leave (180 days) along with flexible working hours. In the case of disabled employees, improved working conditions have been suggested. Also, in a bid to usher in efficiency, it has suggested a mechanism for awarding “high performers” (not exceeding 20 per cent) by way of a higher increment rate of 3.5 per cent compared to the normal 2.5 per cent for 80 per cent of the employees.

“Existing rates of most of the allowances will be doubled both in the case of defence forces as well as civilian employees,” the Commission report said, noting that education allowance reimbursement would be Rs. 1,000 a child a month (up to a maximum of two children) compared to the existing Rs. 50 and recommended a 10-fold increase in hostel subsidy to Rs. 3,000 a month.

As for pensioners, the Commission has suggested major benefits, particularly as they grow older, by recommending higher payment rates on attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100. Besides, pension is to be paid at 50 per cent of the higher of the average emoluments or last drawn pay, without linking it to 33 years of service. For those already retired, it has suggested the same formula for arriving at the fitment pension.

The Commission proposed the immediate introduction of a performance-related incentive scheme, which is to replace the ad hoc bonus scheme. The new scheme will be budget-neutral.

Contrary to earlier reports, the Commission proposed that the age of superannuation should be retained at 60. However, it suggested concession on this count for scientists and medical specialists.

‘More efficient’

“The biggest highlight of the report is to revise the salary structure in such a way to make the government machinery more efficient,” it said.

The Commission recommended a 40 per cent increase in pension and family pension, after subsuming the increase on account of merger of Dearness Relief — equal to 50 per cent of pension as Dearness Pay effective April 1, 2004. This would result in an additional outgo of Rs. 1,365 crore for 2008-09.