Earlier pay nomenclature was based on various pay scales for different types of employees gazetted/non-gazetted. The annual increments, which were prefixed, were allowed on completion of 12 months of satisfactory service from the date of joining the service. Higher rates of increments placed somewhere in the scales were allowed only under sanction after crossing what was called as 'efficiency bar'. Making a U-turn the Sixth Pay Commission effective from 1-1-2006 introduced band pay, grade pay, with uniform rate of increment @ 3 percent of the two, date of annual increment from the first of July every year for all employees. An additional amount of pension on attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100 years or above @ 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent respectively of the basic pension was also introduced as a peculiar features among other normals. This 6th Central Pay Commission was hailed by almost all the employees who felt considerably satisfied than usual. When asked about this innovative deviation in the history of pay revisions, the head/architect of the Commission Honourable Justice Retired Mr. B.N. Srikrishna, presently Chairman of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission, replied that he had done something good for the nation.
The latest 7th Central Pay Commission still different in the hierarchy effective from 1-1-2016 has, dispensed with the preceding framework with the debut of many changes. It has disbanded band pay and grade pay with their merger into sole 18 levels in the laid down pay matrix as mentioned in my earlier Article titled 'Restructure The Levels'. It has, however, retained 3 percent increment and stayed put with the previously introduced ( 6th pay commission), additional amount of pension at the five different age brackets of 80-85,85-90,90-95,95-100,100 years or above. While the pay commission and the government deserve appreciation for their recommendation/acceptance respectively for its continuation, the clause merits favourable consideration by narrowing these age brackets with substitution of age brackets to 65-70, 70-75, 75-80, 80 -85, and 85 years or above respectively if pensioners concerned are to be helped through earlier and larger outreach and not generally theoretically as most of the people die or their families exhaust before reaching the initial age bracket entitling them for first additional increase of 20 percent of pension over and above the basic pension.
3.In its study report Hay Group Division of Korn Ferry (GK. 16-9-2016) on salary growth in countries of China, Indonesia, Mexico the report says that India has seen a salary growth of 0.2 percent since the great recession eight years back in 2008 while as China has recorded largest salary growth rate of 10.6 percent followed by Indonesia & Mexico with 9.3 percent and 8.3 per cent respectively during the same period. Wage growth in India has been by far the most unequal. "People at the bottom are 30 percent worse off in real terms since the state of recession whilst people at the top are 30 percent better." By virtue of the comparative findings in the report country has a reasonable and sustainable scope for any footfall for improvement in the salary growth as the reported countries almost share similar geographical and demographic features. A country is not a conglomeration of rivers, hills, mountains or land mass but human habitat who cap it as such. Physically and financially healthy and cheerful populace are a guarantee to a peaceful and stronger country. Any judicious & honest spending on its inhabitants activates the whole national gamut of inclusiveness.
Lowering of age brackets for grant of additional amount of pension will not effect the public exchequer so much due to operation of positive checks decreasing the number of pensioners constantly , landing into interface of direct taxation, introduction of New Pension Scheme with effect from 1-1-2004 in centre and 1-1-2010 in the state of J & K locking the age old pension system. Above all money involved is white and well within the native economy recoiling its benefits unlike the black one that has fled overseas and on which foreign economies enjoy. Although the amount of black money stashed abroad can not be precisely quantified yet quantum of the same can be gauged from the fact that during UPA Regime it was told that amount of black money outside the country if brought back could suffice for the budget allocation of country's Education sector for the prospective 25 years that is upto 2035 taking base year as 2010. Ironically while striving for ascendance to the political throne all the governments at their turns at the centre lucidly and incessantly committed loud & clear to the country/electorate that they would wrest back the treasures siphoned to foreign lands but so far words are scare of deeds. Governments owe accomplishment of commitments to the collective conscience of the country.
People are anxious that matter which had once occupied centre stage in the apolitical and political circles cutting across the party line has gone into oblivion. If the money drawn from the chest/treasury unauthorisedly is an offence cognizable under general financial rules, codal/financial provisions and pick pocketing an act punishable under the provisions of criminal law notwithstanding the fact that the money remains and circles within the borders of the country, should national robbery go unheeded and remain untraced. If the foreign inward unaccounted for remittances are deemed threat to the economy such flow outwards in violation of Foreign Exchange Regulations Act can not be discounted. Plugging surreptitious leakages is as important as the regular earning and arresting the overt losses. This overseas money is the result of toil & trouble from the sweat and blood of those who have lost their lives in mines, limbs in factories/industries, two square meals in open fields, health & hearth at the native places, meaning to their cherished dreams, respite to relax, status in the morbid societal set up etc. The moment lost wealth is brought back the deficit budgets will take leave for good. If Honourable Justice Retired Mr. B.N. Srikrishna had done something good for the nation may the Government do something better for the same nation by addressing both these issues.
[The author is a former Sr. Audit Officer working as Consultant in the A.G's Office Srinagar.]