In good news for over 5.4 lakh serving and retired government employees, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh has approved most of the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission. These include a 20 percent hike in salaries and pensions of the state government employees and will be implemented from July 1, 2021, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016.
The state pays Rs 27,000 crore in salaries and Rs 12,000 crore in pensions annually. The latest move will cost the government with additional Rs 35,000 crore.
Here are some key recommendations that have been approved-
• Punjab's 6th pay commission had put forth recommendations to increase minimum pay from Rs 6,950 to Rs 18,000 per month. The move will put an additional burden of Rs 8,637 crore on the exchequer with a prospective additional net annual burden expected to be nearly Rs 4,700 crore.
• The minimum pension has now been increased to Rs 9,000/month from Rs 3,500/month and the minimum family pension will be Rs 9,000/ month.
• Salaries and pensions under the new structure will be disbursed from Ist of July 2021.
• The arrears are to be paid in two equal installments which will be given out in October 2021 and January 2022.
• Divorcees and widows will also come under the purview of family pension.
• The government will also restore the commutation of pension to 40 percent from July this year and has rationalized house rent allowance along with others.
• Special allowance to watchmen and drivers has been doubled.
• The Punjab government will also be introducing a higher education allowance for employees who obtain a higher education degree while being employed and in the domain related to their jobs. This will be a lump-sum amount.