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Dispur groaning under salary burden

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

PROJECTED SALARY BURDEN

* In 2015-16: Rs 17,985.14 crore

* In 2016-17: Rs 19,723.96 crore

* In 2017-18: Rs 21,729.35 crore

* In 2018-19: Rs 23,902.29 crore

CM talks of constituting 7th Pay Commission as fincial crisis snowballs

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, April 12: Payment of salaries and pension to its employees has become a huge burden for the Assam government. The situation has aggravated to the extent that State government employees are now on tenterhooks whether they will receive salaries on time in the coming months.

Dispur is already staring at a looming fincial crunch with the Central government drastically slashing funds for several of its ongoing schemes in the State. With Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi talking about constituting the next Pay Commission soon, the State is heading towards a major fincial crisis in the next few years. The fincial burden has increased further due to provincialisation of venture schools across the State.

Sources said that the provincialisation of venture schools across Assam has created an additiol salary burden on the State government. “About 40,000 new posts of teachers were created by the government after provincialisation of these venture schools, which means an additiol fincial burden on Dispur,” sources said, adding, “If this situation continues, a question arises whether the State government employees will get their salaries timely.”

According to sources, “Before the provincialisation of schools, the State government needed Rs 1,200 crore per month to pay out salaries to its employees, but with the provincialisation of these schools, the government will now require an additiol Rs 800 crore per month. The overall salary burden on the government ballooned to Rs 2,000 crore per month.”

As if this was not enough, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently announced that his government will constitute the 7th Pay Commission. “If the 7th Pay Commission is constituted, it will further increase the salary burden on the State government. Will it be possible for Dispur to pay salaries and pension to its employees timely, given the looming fincial crunch?” sources said, adding, “The new government which will be formed after the 2016 Assembly elections will certainly face a severe fincial crisis.”

Sources said many contractors have not been paid their dues for the works done by them in the last fincial year. “These contractors are now facing acute hardship,” sources said, adding, “All these are indications of the State’s critical fincial situation.”

To tackle the burgeoning crisis, the State government has now no other options but to increase tax collection in order to pay salaries to its workforce. “The salary burden on the government will be much more in the coming three fincial years compared to the current fincial year 2015-16,” sources said.

As per projections of the Fince department, the salary burden on the State government will be Rs 17,985.14 crore in the fincial year 2015-16, Rs 19,723.96 crore in 2016-17, Rs 21,729.35 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 23,902.29 crore in 2018-19.

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