Massive salary hike for J&K govt employees

Jammu, Jan 11: Jammu and Kashmir will implement the recommendations of the 7th pay commission from April 2018 to give a massive 23.5 per cent hike to lakhs of government employees and pensioners in the state, Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said on Wednesday, presenting his third consecutive budget.

Drabu in his budget speech to the state assembly said the hike in salaries and post-retirement payouts will be with retrospective effect from the day when the commission recommendations were implemented by the central government.

The central government announced the measure for its employees in June last year and a majority of the states have also implemented the recommendation of the pay panel fixing the minimum monthly salary for an employee at Rs 18,000 from the earlier Rs 7,000. 

The maximum salary, as per the pay panel recommendations, is fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh for the Cabinet Secretary, which is more than double the previous pay of Rs 90,000 a month for the country's top bureaucrat. For other officers in the top scale -- secretary or equivalent, the monthly salary is now around Rs 225,000.

Drabu said his two previous budgets focussed on micro finance and allocation in the industrially backward state while the present budget aimed at operations.

He proposed a reform in the government's payment system and announced that treasuries would be replaced by functionally aligned pay and accounts offices (PAO) to monitor and control the purpose and objective of payments, budgetary sanctions and ceilings, proper classification and excess payment issues.

For all receipts and disbursements of the government, the PAOs would be departmentally aligned. 

"They would deal with those heads of accounts which are related to the functions of their concerned departments.

"Instead of receiving the receipts and disbursing the payments of numerous departments in the treasury system, the PAOs would deal with just one department."