Govt employees salaries: Provinces warn against ‘irrational’ pay raise

Published: May 15, 2012

Sources say finance ministry is under pressure from the presidency.

ISLAMABAD: Provinces have ‘advised’ the federal government to avoid any “irrational increase” in the salaries of government employees.

The provincial governments maintain that due to financial constraints, the finance ministry will find any increase above 15% in the next financial year very difficult to accommodate.

They shared their thoughts after reports suggested that the federal government was looking to announce a significant raise in salaries in its fifth and last budget.

The concern was raised in a meeting of the federal government and provincial finance secretaries held to review budgetary positions, a provincial finance secretary said on the condition of anonymity. Punjab in particular thinks that any such decision would put the provinces in an awkward position, he added.

Punjab’s finance secretary Tarik Bajwa told i that the federal administration did not share any formal proposal on the increase in salaries. He said last year’s revision of basic pay scales and increase in salaries cost Punjab an additional Rs45 billion.

Bajwa added that there are roughly one million regular and contractual provincial employees.

The finance ministry, however, shied away from deliberating on the subject.

According to initial calculations, a 5% increase in salaries will cost an additional Rs11.5 billion to the national exchequer as there are 625,000 federal government employees. The projected expenses for running the government for the next fiscal year have been estimated at Rs240 billion, of which 40 to 45% will be on account of salaries.

Proposals under
consideration

Sources said the finance ministry is under pressure from the top leadership to provide maximum relief to employees in light of the upcoming general elections.

The presidency wants a minimum increase of 35% in salaries. This will cost an additional Rs80.5 billion to the federal government alone. “The provinces must be taken into confidence as any such increase will affect their fiscal position greatly,” said a source.

He added the finance ministry has briefed top executives that a maximum increase of 15%, which will cost the exchequer Rs34.5 billion, can be borne.

Deterioration in fiscal framework

The provinces on Monday refused to help the federal government to avoid the embarrassment of having the highest ever budget deficit in the country’s history.

The provincial governments were asked to save Rs154 from their respective budgets to keep overall deficit in check, but have told the federal administration that, at best, they could save only Rs90 billion – and that too if the FBR manages to collect Rs1.952 trillion in taxes.

The federal budget deficit has soared to 6.6 per cent in nine months.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • DevilHunterX
    May 15, 2012 - 11:34AM

    Remove or drastically reduce the perks of all government employees, armed forces and judiciary. Problem solved.

    Recommend

  • AV Bhagowal
    May 15, 2012 - 1:06PM

    Is serving bureaucracy the only political asset or the
    pensioners are also in any reckoning in the new pay relief? My
    advice to the struggling Government in power is to placate
    the pensioners also otherwise it would forfeit their prayers which may
    prove more effective than the tricky gimmicks of the
    serving parrots in the ultimate political showdown.

    Recommend

  • ashar
    May 15, 2012 - 1:31PM

    BTW what is the salary structure of parlimentarians and how often they are raised?

    Recommend

  • Yusuf
    May 15, 2012 - 2:20PM

    I am a Taxpayer of Pakistan. I am a citizen of Pakistan. I have No Retirement Benefit from Government of Pakistan after reaching age Sixty. I have no Medical benefit and No Retirement Pension yet the Government of Pakistan Keep Taxing Me. After age Sixty I get No Retirement Benefit even though I file My Tax Return on Each Year. I am a Common Citizen of Great Country Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Mustakil khan
    May 15, 2012 - 5:14PM

    Govt employees will pray for the best of presidents excellence
    If The Grades of Food Grain Inspectors, of the Government of Sindh. Food Department are modified and rationalised to their educational level and proportional to their responsiblity.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    May 15, 2012 - 6:50PM

    Stop pushing wages up! GET INFLATION DOWN INSTEAD!!

    Recommend

  • Farooq Bashir Butt
    May 15, 2012 - 7:15PM

    Selective obliging of Bureaucrats in form of project allowance should be stopped as it tantamount to nepotism and crony-ism.Khadm-e-ala to stop such practice

    Recommend

  • May 16, 2012 - 7:16PM

    We hope that something will be gone to happen a good result in favour of Govt. employees. But there is a little bit confusion about our bureaucrats in making policies about budget.

    Recommend

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