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21 Jun 2018

DA hike dents new pay hope

TT, Calcutta: The Mamata Banerjee government's announcement of a hike in dearness allowance by 18 per cent of basic pay from January 2019 for Bengal employees has dealt a blow to their hopes of a Sixth Pay Commission revision.

"If we get 18 per cent additional DA from January 1, there is hardly any possibility of a pay revision in the near future," said an official.

Once the increase takes effect, the DA will touch 125 per cent of basic pay.

Bengal had set up the Sixth Pay Commission in November 2015. It was to submit its report within six months but was later given time till November 2018. "After the 18 per cent DA hike, the pay commission might not submit its report before January. If it does so after that, implementing the recommendations will be delayed further as it takes some time to arrange funds," said an official.

Sources said an additional Rs 30,000 crore would be needed to implement a new pay structure.

"The state's financial condition is poor. It is tough for the state to shoulder the burden of a revised pay structure after spending Rs 5,400 crore on an 18 per cent DA hike in the 2019-20 financial year," said a finance official.

Another official pointed out that the Centre had implemented the Seventh Pay Commission soon after the DA hit 125 per cent of basic pay. "In our (Bengal) case, the 125 per cent mark will be reached in January. The time for a pay revision has come," the official said.

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