7th Pay and the fiscal reality of the State : Need to acknowledge reality

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The fiscal health of the State Government should be understood and appreciated by all, particularly the State Government employees in the light of the demand from some quarters that the 7th Pay Recommendation be adopted.

It is here that the BJP led coalition Government too need to come out and explain the fiscal position of the State Government in clear cut terms to all so that no misunderstanding crops up and the Government and the employees proceed to a show down.

This is a position which can best be avoided when both parties accommodate the position of each other.

State Government employees have every right to demand that they should also be paid according to the pay recommendation of the 7th Commission and it goes against the understanding of universal justice that while Central Government employees are already enjoying the 7th Pay Commission, the State Government employees have to do with the 6th Pay which came into effect ten years back.

Ten years is a pretty long time and given the sharp inflation, it would not be practical to believe that what one could do with one’s pay ten years back can still be done now.

That is out of the question. On the other hand, the employees too need to understand that the State Government may not be in a position to give in and pay the employees the pay recommended by the 7th Pay Commission.

As reported in The Sangai Express, adopting the 7th Pay Recommendation would entail an additional expenditure of Rs 600/700 crore annually for the odd 80 thousand employees.

To a resource starved State like Manipur, Rs 600/700 crore is certainly a huge amount and herein lies the question of how anyone can expect the State Government to meet the extra expenditure of Rs 600/700 crore annually.

It is precisely because of this that questions also ought to be raised to the BJP on how and why it highlighted implementation of the 7th Pay Commission in its vision document, before the Assembly election in the early part of this year.

Playing to the gallery to score some brownie points, that is what the BJP did and this is something not at all expected from a party which is going strong all over the country.

True Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar who is also the Finance Minister had in the last Assembly session ruled out the possibility of implementing the 7th Pay Recommendation, but given the pre-poll promise of the BJP, this is not likely to cut ice with the employees who have already started raising the banner of the 7th Pay Recommendation.

The extra expenditure should also be seen beyond the 7th Pay Recommendation and one just has to acknowledge the hike in DA/DR given to employees, pensioners, and family pensioners from 119 pc to 125 pc from June 1 this year and one can imagine the huge expenditure the State Government has had to face.

Given this reality, the State Government will not be in a position to opt for the 7th Pay Recommendation anytime soon in the future.

The BJP led coalition Government should also be advised against any populist measure at the moment and one just has to recollect the days in the late 90s, when the then State Government adopted the 5th Pay Commission in 1999.

Overdraft, RBI ban, no salaries for months, were subjects which made it to the news then. More than sure that no one wants a repeat of those days.

Source: The Sangai Express

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