By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 7: Assam Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has showered the State Government employees with numerous shops in the Budget for fiscal 2017-18.
The recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission were supposed to be effective from April 2, 2017. However, in his Budget proposals for fiscal 2017-18, the Fince Minister has made it clear that the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission will be effective from April 1, 2016 against April 1, 2017. This is not all. The employees will get the first installment of arrears by April-May this year, and the remaining amount will also be paid by this fiscal.
Sarma said: “The government will have to shoulder an additiol burden of Rs 2,200 crore because of effecting the 7th Pay Commission recommendations from April 1, 2016 against April 1, 2017. The government is ready to cough up such a big amount only to give the employees a better atmosphere and to boost their relationship with the government.”
This is in stark contrast to what the previous Congress Government did in the implementation of the 6th Pay Commission recommendations. The previous government implemented the pay commission recommendations after long 39 months, and the relevant arrears are yet to be disposed of.
The Budget also smiled upon those employees who want to erect houses and who want to make their wards pursue higher education. According to the proposals made in this Budget, a State Government employee who wants to erect a house can take housing loan up to Rs 15 lakh at the rate of 5.05 per cent interest without mortgaging anything. The State government is going to sign an MoU with the SBI in this regard, and such MoUs will also be signed with other banks as well, later.
A State Government employee, according to the Budget proposals, can also take loan up to Rs 10 lakh at the rate of 4 per cent interest for higher education of his/her wards. The government will shoulder the remaining amount of interest.
The Budget has also made it a point that the government has a compassiote heart. Over the years the appointment on compassiote ground has been, in most of the cases, just eyewash. When an employee dies while in service his/her next of kin is supposed to get a job on compassiote ground. However, in most of the cases, such bereaved family members have to run after officials. When they fail to get the right compassion from the top officials, they, as often as not, fall in the hands of middlemen, who bleed them dry.
Taking such a hardship in mind, the government has decided to pay the salary drawn last by an employee dying while in service to his/her next of kin. Such payment will continue till the deceased employee attains 60 years of age, after which the next of kin will get the pension benefit.
The Budget has also given a sop for the promotion of khadi clothes among the employees. An employee buying two sets of khadi clothes a year will get reimbursement of Rs 1,000.
SAKP president Basab Kalita welcomed the sops for employees announced in the Budget. He said that the April 1, 2016 as the date of effect of the 7th Pay Commission has been a long-standing demand. “We’re happy because the government has accepted our demand of April 1, 2016 as the date of effect of the recommendations of the commission against April 1, 2017 recommended by the Pay Commission,” he said.