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Government employees to get benefits; CM to approve decisions

Incentives are provided as means for the employee to work harder and better. At times it is like a bait to lure in the best of the best- be it work or play.

Come February, government employees in Karnataka are expected to receive a pre-poll bonanza from the Congress-led administration. The state government is likely to announce a 24-30% pay hike for its 6.2 lakh employees and pensioners in the budget, and introduce holidays on alternate Saturdays in government offices.

The decision is a bid to address demands for a five-day week and a pay scale on par with that for central government employees. Currently, state government employees have a six-day week with an additional off every second Saturday of the month. The government will now likely make the fourth Saturday a holiday too, in tune with the schedule for nationalized banks.

READ ALSO: Karnataka elections campaign: which political party has the bigger fanfare?

“To ensure this does not lead to a decrease in work hours, the government is toying with the idea of extending office hours on the first and third Saturdays,” said a senior official of the state department of personnel and administrative services (DPAR).

Responding to demands from employee associations, chief minister Siddaramaiah had, in the last budget, announced a committee headed by retired IAS officer M R Srinivasa Murthy to recommend an increase in salaries and pensions. “We are in the process of finalizing the report… We will submit it soon since the CM fixed January 31 as the deadline,” Murthy said.

While government employees are hoping the CM opts for a hike in the 30-35% slab, sources said the government may go for a 24-30% increase. The move is estimated to cost the exchequer Rs 10,800 crore.

At the fag end of the tenure of Karnataka‘s previous administration, led by BJP, the then chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda had hiked pay by 22%. “We cannot afford to offer anything less than what BJP offered,” said a senior state minister, an indication that the new hike would be higher.


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