Presenting the 12th budget as finance minister of Karnataka, chief minister Siddaramaiah said that his government will implement the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC), benefiting about six lakh state government employees. The state goes to polls next year and this was the last full-fledged budget of the Congress government.
He had announced setting up of a panel to revise government staff's pay scales during the Assembly session last November.
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The first hint on revising salaries for the state government employees was made by him at an event last August.
"State government employees have been demanding salaries on a par with the Central government staff. The time has come to set up the next pay commission as the Centre is implementing the recommendations of the seventh pay commission," Siddaramaiah had said on the sidelines of the diamond jubilee celebration of the Karnataka Government Secretariat Employees' Association (KGSEA) in Bengaluru on August 25, 2016.
The comment raised hopes of state government employees who had gone on a day-long strike on June 2 demanding pay parity with Central government staff.
"We are happy that the chief minister is keen on setting up a new pay commission. He also promised to look into our grievances," KGSEA president Mahadevaiah Matapathii said. The last pay commission was set up by the state government six years ago.
The annual expenditure for salary payable to state government employees is about Rs 25,000 crore on salary while pension accounts for about Rs 12,000 crore, he had said during the Belagavi session held last November.
The fifth pay committee's recommendations were accepted by the Karnataka government in March 2012 by the then chief minister Sadanand Gowda. The hike was 22.5 percent, according to a PTI report.
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The 7th Central Pay Commission's (CPC) recommendations hiking salary and allowances for Central government employees is a trigger for many state government employees to seek parity with their Central government counterparts.