7th Pay Commission: Bonanza for J&K govt employees; April pay to see a jump

FILE PHOTO: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti | PTI Photo
As a measure to bring good fortune to over 500,000 state government employees and pensioners, the Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday became the first state in the country to implement the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. This major commitment of state government would lead to an average hike of 20 per cent in the salary of employees, said Finance Minister Mohammad Altaf Bukhari.

The breakthrough decision came at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and attended by both PDP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers. The state government employees can now draw their salary for the month of April in accordance with the revised pay scales. Also, for the purpose of implementation of the 7th Pay Commission Recommendations, basic pay as on December 31, 2015, of employees shall be multiplied by a uniform factor of 2.57 and then adjusted in the matrix recommended by the Pay Committee, said a PTI report.

Despite the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is reeling with financial constraints and has a lack of resources, the pay commission’s recommendations have been implemented without any agitation and difficulties. J&K Finance Minister Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, "We don't have resources, but our honourable Chief Minister has made a commitment and we have fulfilled it”.

The financial implications for the implementations of the 7th pay commission recommendations would be around Rs 42.01 billion per year and Rs 74.77 billion in one-time arrears on the exchequer, the finance minister explained.

The benefit of House Rent Allowance on revised pay shall be available from April 2018 and all allowances except Dearness Allowance (DA) shall continue as before while DA from January 2016 onwards shall be paid on revised pay on new rates to be notified by Finance Department, Bukhari added.

According to the pay commission decision, the gratuity shall be increased from the existing limit of Rs 1 million (Rs 10 lakh) to Rs 2 million (Rs 20 lakh) with effect from January 1, 2016, with a surge in the ceiling on gratuity by 25 per cent whenever Dearness Allowance (DA) rises by 50 per cent as recommended by 7th CPC/ according to the Central Government pattern.

According to a report in Press Trust of India, the pensioners shall be given the option to choose revision of pension by any of the two formulations suggested by the Pay Commission Committee.

Arrears of pensioners shall be paid in cash in three six monthly instalments while arrears of all employees shall be drawn and credited to their GP Fund accounts with a moratorium of 3 years for withdrawal of same, Finance Department said. But there will be no moratorium on withdrawal in case of employees retiring up to March 31, 2021.

The state cabinet has informed that the implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations for public sector undertakings (PSUs) and autonomous organisations will depend on the availability of resources with the respective organisations. The J&K administration also approved various organisational reforms to rationalise the functioning at several levels in the government.

Regarding pay anomalies, the cabinet decided that the existing Pay Committee shall look into and address the issue of anomalies starting with the issue of anomalies of the Clerical Cadre, said a PTI report.