West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a significant pay revision for employees of the state government. This, based on the recommendations of the state's sixth pay commission which, Ms Banerjee said, has hiked minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 17,990 or over two and a half times.
State government employees were agitating for months over the disparity in their pay and that of Central government employees. State government employees were paid as per State's Fifth Pay Commission. Central employees are getting paid at a much higher scale under the Seventh Pay Commission.
Ms Banerjee was clearly seeking to address this growing grievance with an eye on 2021 assembly elections and told hundreds of state employees gathered at Netaji Indoor Stadium this afternoon, "the more you give this government, the more this government will give to you."
"I don't understand all this very much but I accept the pay commission recommendations that will come into effect from 1 January," she said.
Not just a wage hike, the cap on gratuity, too, has been upped from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
Medical benefits, HRA and other benefits would also be revised upward, Ms Banerjee said.
The wage revision will coast the exchequer Rs 10,000 crore.
Her announcement was greeted with loud cheers at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. But some Left leaning employees union said Ms Banerjee was low on specifics.
"It was a lollipop, nothing else," said one union leader. "The chief minister said new pay scales will be effective 1st January. But will we get retrospective effect ? Else, we lose higher wages for 36 months," said another union leader.
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