This is regarding the report submitted by the 6thAssam Pay Commission. From the partial report made public by the Govt., it is apparent that apart from Grade-IV employees of Assam, no one is going to benefit from it. The so-called experts of the Pay Commission with Mr Bhaskar Barua (retd. IAS) and the Mr H S Das, Finance Secretary of Assam at the helm of affairs, have deliberately recommended a report with lot of discrepancies which may be summarised as follows -
1. Employees of the rank of Junior Engineers, Sub-Inspectors, others who are in the equivalent pay scale of 3490-8100 & 3580-8750 etc. in Assam have been recommended for the pay band 5200-20200 with grade pay 2500 & 2600. The Central Govt. has placed them in the pay band 9300-34000 (earlier scale 5000-8000, 5500-9000, 6500-10500) with Grade pay 4000, 4200, 4600 & 4800. Thanks to Mr Bhaskar Barua & Associates, these sections of employees would now draw a gross amount of Rs.9000-11000 less than their Central counterparts.
2. Before Central Govt. employees were awarded pay hike, all positions in the Govt. of Assam has been trailing by an amount of Rs.1000-5000 in their basic pay corresponding to the Central Govt. employees e.g. Section Officers in Central were in the pay scale 6500-10500 while in Assam it was 5375-10700, Junior Engineers in Central were getting 5000-8000, in Assam it was 3580-8750, Sub-Inspectors in Central were getting 5500-9000 while in Assam it was 3490-8100, Inspectors in Central departments were in the pay scale 6500-10500 while it was 3760-9400 in Assam.
Now, for fixing new pay scales, Assam Pay Commission, like the Central Pay Commission, has recommended to multiply the existing pay scale with a factor 1.86. Since, there was considerable difference of the pay scales in pre-revised state, I wonder how does the State Pay Commission expects to bridge the gap by multiplying the scales with the same factor of 1.86. This factor certainly needs to be increased.
3. The annual increment formula provided by Central Govt. is 3% of Basic pay + Grade pay while the Assam Pay Commission has recommended 1%. Is it the Commission’s plan to bring about parity corresponding to Central Govt. employees when State Govt. employees would trail by 2% each year than the employees of Central Govt. which would have overwhelming repercussions on a service holder’s career?
That and more, it seems that many entry level employees would get lower increments than the existing pattern. For e.g. 3490-8100, 3580-8750 has Rs.90 as initial annual increment. If placed in 5200-20200 with Grade pay 2500 & 2600, their annual increment would be 5200+2500/2600 = 7700/7800. Their annual increment at 1% works out to Rs.77/78 which is Rs.12/13 less than the existing annual increment.
Further, State Civil Services have also been greatly deprived of their rights since most States of our country pay State Civil Services equivalent to the Central Administrative Services.
Furthermore, what is the point in constituting a Pay Review Committee with the same Finance Secretary who was member of the Pay Commission?
This is a nation where legislators increase their own salary & perks simply by thumping on the Assembly & Parliamentary desks; IAS, IPS, Professors, Lecturers, etc. draw equivalent pay scales irrespective of the State they are working or bothering about the financial condition of the States. These are the privileged class of employees in this nation and not any Group-II, III or IV employee as always reported. Grade-II, III & IV employees always find it difficult to make both ends meet. This in turn exacerbates corrupt practices. It needs to be understood that these employees are also part of the common mass and they are tax-payers too. Unless an employee is provided adequate financial benefit at the start of his career, he/she cannot remain honest or turn into an honest person when he gets a decent salary.
The Govt. of Assam should understand that double standards promoted by unscrupulous politicians and bureaucrats are no longer acceptable. Logic, scientific & economic research, equivalence, transparency & goodwill should be the benchmark for recommending better pay & perks in this era of competitiveness, otherwise, the Govt. of Assam should be prepared to witness degradation of quality & more corrupt practices in the coming days.
P.Saikia 9th Bye Lane, Lachit Nagar, Guwahati