Rajasthan state govt employees revised pay scales disclosed
The state government made the Krishna Bhatnagar committee’s recommendations on the salaries, allowances and work conditions of its employees public on Tuesday. These were implemented last Saturday after a cabinet nod even without disclosing them to the employees.
The Bhatnagar committee was constituted nearly five years ago to look into the state government employees’ grievances, chiefly over disparities in their pay scales and allowances vis-a-vis those of their colleagues serving at the Centre. The disparities arose from the selective manner in which the 6th pay commission’s recommendations were accepted by the state government in 2006. The Bhatnagar committee submitted its report to the state government in 2011.
The employees’ demand to make the recommendations public gained momentum after chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced in the state budget last month that the committee’s report has been accepted.
Soon after the recommendations were made public on Tuesday, there were sharp reactions against the Gehlot government from certain employees’ unions, which asserted that the salary disparities still remained unchanged. The All Rajasthan State Government Employees Federation led by K K Gupta accused chief minister Gehlot of “cheating” the employees under the garb of the Bhatnagar committee.
“The pay-scales and allowances of not a single group from the state services, subordinate services, ministerial services or Class IV services has been brought at par with that at the Centre,” said Tej Singh Rathore, the Federation’s general secretary. “The state government’s claim that every employee’s salary will get a minimum addition of Rs 1200 to Rs 1500 per month too has fallen flat. The employees in Pay Band-1 have not got even a single rupee’s increase in their salaries,” Rathore added. The Rajasthan Nurses Association United led by Rajendra Rana and the Rajasthan Accountants Association under Prahlad Singh too called the committee recommendations unacceptable.
As per the committee’s recommendations, the grade pay of Rs 3,200 has been increased to Rs 3,600, the grade pay of Rs 3,600 has been increased to Rs 4,200 and the grade pay of Rs 4,200 has been increased to Rs 4,600. The teachers’ grade pay has been increased from Rs 2,800 to Rs 3,600.
The nursing superintendent grade pay-2 and 1 have been merged to create a new grade pay of Rs 4,800. The pay scale of nurse grade-1 has been increased from Rs 3600 to 4600 and that of nurse grade-2 has been increased from Rs 3,200 to 4,200. The running pay band of constables has been increased by Rs 50 and that of the head-constables and the ASI have been increased by Rs 200.
Meanwhile, another influential Federation of the state employees led by Yash Pratap Singh reserved its reaction saying it was still studying the voluminous report, which runs into nearly 400 pages and lists its recommendations department-wise. Majority of the employees unions and associations have called their office-bearers meetings on Wednesday to decide on an official stand on the committee’s recommendations and the government’s claim about meeting their demands.
However, almost every union/association of the employees appeared displeased with the Gehlot government on the issue, which would play a significant role in the assembly elections coming up later this year. The then Gehlot government’s defeat in the 2003 assembly elections is largely attributed to the employees’ resentment.
“Implementing the Bhatnagar committee report, which was not in the public domain, was never the employees’ demand. The Congress’s election manifesto also did not mention it. Still the chief minister suddenly mentioned it in the assembly because only he knew that it was against the employees’ basic demands,” alleged Tej Singh Rathore, the federation’s general secretary.