Daily Dawn Updates on Unified/Revised Pay Scales 2012
Pay commission calls for doing away with salary distortions
Islamabad (Daily Dawn / October 20, 2012) – Pay and Pension Commission has sought an end to payment of ‘special’ salaries to employees of institutions like the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and recommended that a government official’s various allowances be merged to form a pay package that reflected his or her true monthly income.
The proposal is aimed at ensuring equal treatment of all civil servants.
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A meeting of the commission chaired by former State Bank governor Dr Ishrat Hussain here on Friday was attended by former secretary-general of finance division Naveed Ahson, adviser to finance ministry Rana Asad Amin and additional finance secretaries of the four provinces.
Dr Hussain told Dawn that he wanted to get promotions and salary raises linked to performance through introduction of a proper performance manual system instead of the traditional annual confidential reports. He said that use of seniority as the basis for promotions “does not differentiate between a horse and a donkey when it comes to rewarding performance and output”.
“The entire salary structure needs to be changed so that salaries are uniform but performance-based. They should not be awarded on the basis of the location of posting,” he remarked.
Dr Hussain said the salary structure should do away with the doubling or tripling of the allowances for those working, for instance, in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat or Federal Board of Revenue.
He said the commission had recommended that various allowances of a civil servant be integrated so that his/her pay package clearly showed what the government was paying to him or her. Citing an example, he said talented youngsters often refused to join a government department in grade 17 when they were told that their salary would be Rs20,000 per month, without realising that their take home salary might be more than Rs50,000 a month.
Dr Hussain said the commission had opposed the way the policy called ‘monetisation of transport facility’ was implemented.
“A good idea (monetisation of transport) was botched up during the implementation phase,” he said.
Under the policy as implemented by the government, the authorities were not just giving away huge cash compensations but vehicles as well. “That is absolutely wrong,” said the former governor of State Bank.
The pay commission had recommended that the practice of giving vehicles to civil servants should be done away with, he said.
The revised pay structures would be applicable neither to personnel of the armed forces nor to members of the judiciary, a source said.
The government wanted to introduce the revised structure with effect from Jan 1, 2013, to send a positive signal to the bureaucrats before the elections.
The commission has noted that in secretariats of the president and prime minister the salaries are often 200 per cent greater than other departments, due to special allowances paid to officials working there. This not only causes anxiety but also encourages ‘political hobnobbing’.
The commission has directed the regulation wing of the finance ministry and provincial governments to design salary packages in a manner so that distortion in salaries is removed. They have been asked to submit their reports within three weeks for consideration of the commission during its next meeting.
Sources said that during the meeting Dr Hussain criticised the government for allowing greater enhancements in the salaries than what was recommended earlier by the commission. This served to erode the government’s fiscal space and create fiscal imbalances.
He was also worried over non-implementation of his recommendations regarding creation of special service structures for health, education and police cadres and demanded that all previous recommendations be acted upon by the government.