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Some cheer, some grumble as Dispur corrects pay package

GUWAHATI, June 5: The Assam Government has cheered its employees up to an extent with State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma making it public that the government has accepted some of the recommendations of the pay anomaly committee.

Even as the Seventh Assam Pay and Productivity Pay Commission recommendations had been effective in the State since April 1, 2016, the State government employees found a number of recommendations anomalous and demanded their rectification.

Yielding to the demands of the employees, the State government formed a pay anomaly committee with former Chief Secretary PK Dutta as its chairman. The committee submitted its recommendations to the government in November 2017.
The latest Cabinet meeting held on June 1 accepted some of the recommendations of the anomaly committee. Talking to the media here on Tuesday, Sarma said some of the recommendations of the committee have been accepted. “Now on, State government employees working in Guwahati are to get house rent at the rate of 10 per cent of their pay band and grade pay, those working in district and sub-divisional headquarters are to get at the rate of eight per cent, and those working outside district and sub-divisional headquarters are to get at the rate of seven per cent,” he said.
Spelling out the acceptance of another recommendation of the anomaly committee that would benefit employees working outside the State, Sarma said: “All drivers of Assam Bhawans outside the State will get an incentive of Rs 20 for every hour of overtime work exceeding their eight-hour duty. This apart, now on, Assam government employees working in Shillong will get the Hill Area and Remote Area Allowance as is the case with the employees working in Majuli, Dhakuakhana, Jonai, NC Hills and Karbi Anglong. A special allowance will also be given to those working in deaf-and-dumb schools.”

Harping on the acceptance of some other recommendations meant for a whole lot of school teachers, Sarma said: “Lower primary and junior basic schools’ trained graduate teachers are to get a grade pay of Rs 7,400, untrained graduate teachers will get a grade pay of Rs 6,800, and untrained undergraduate teachers are to get a grade pay of Rs 6,200. Likewise, trained graduate teachers of ME, MV and senior basic schools will get a grade of pay of Rs 8,700, untrained graduate teachers in such schools to get a grade pay of Rs 6,800, and untrained undergraduate teachers in such schools are to get a grade pay of Rs 6,200. Graduate teachers of high schools and higher secondary schools will get a special allowance of Rs 300 in addition to their grade pay of Rs 8,700.”

Sarma said the government has accepted the recommendation of the anomaly committee for the creation of six additional pay grades apart from the existing 24. The Sixth Pay Commission recommendations had 30 grade pays which the Seventh Pay Commission reduced to 24, leading to a hue and cry among employees who viewed it as anomalous.

The minister said the recommendations of the anomaly committee accepted by the government will be effective from April 1, 2016, the date of effect of the Seventh Pay and Productivity Pay Commission recommendations.

Meanwhile, the Asom Prathamic Shikshak Sanmilani has termed the government categorizing teachers and their grade pays as a conspiracy to drive a wedge among them. “This is an injustice to teachers. We’re going to observe black day by wearing black badges tomorrow. We’ll chalk out our next phase of agitation on June 10,” said Sanmilan’s secretary Ratul Goswami.

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Ankur Kalita