Acting hours before the employees were poised to stage a protest demonstration, the federal government on Wednesday acceded to increasing their salary packages of grade-1 to grade-19 employees by 15 percent, but excluded about five dozen departments that are already availing higher than standard pay packages.

The move will marginally reduce disparity between the civil and military salaries as the government had given a similar 15 percent pay raise to all the ranks of the armed forces in July last year over and above their special package.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday had also announced to increase salaries of the paramilitary forces by 15 percent.

The government has decided to give a 15 percent disparity allowance on running basic pay to underprivileged employees from Basic Pay Scale (BPS) 1 to 19 with effect from March 1, according to a late-night announcement by the Ministry of Finance. The package has also recommended to the provinces to adopt the same from their own funds, it added.

The ministry acted hours before a scheduled protest by the representatives of various unions of the federal government employees. “We will still hold a rally today (Thursday) to thank the government,” said Rehman Bajwa, a union leader.

Those departments that have never been allowed additional allowance equal to or more than 100 percent of the basic pay (whether frozen or not) or performance allowance will not be entitled to the disparity allowance.

It is the second time in the current fiscal year that the federal government employees would get a raise after their salaries were increased by 10 percent at the time of the budget. However, the move may create a stir between the government and the International Monetary Fund which has recently imposed a condition to have a balanced budget, excluding the cost of debt servicing, in the current fiscal year.

But the federal government employees seized upon the opportunity to demand an increase as the air is already thick with the anti-government developments and soaring inflation that registered at 13 percent in January.

The finance ministry said that in order to meet another demand a summary for timescale promotion has been initiated by the Finance Division to mitigate the hardship being faced by employees stuck in the same grade for a long time.

The matter of upgradation of posts on the analogy of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will be decided based on the findings of the study being conducted by MS Wing of the Establishment Division by the end of April, it added.

Further, the merger of ad hoc relief/allowances into pay will be decided on the report of pay and pension commission and will be merged in basic pay as per the agreement, said the Finance Ministry.

Two chairpersons of the Pay and Pension Commission have so far resigned during the tenure of the PTI government. The government has excluded the officers serving in grade-20 to -22 from the ad-hoc allowance as if they are not affected by the double-digit inflation.

In March last year, the federal government had also increased the grade 1 to 19 employees’ salaries by 25 percent. The employees protested discrepancies in the salaries of various government departments.

About 58 departments will not be entitled to claim the ad hoc allowance. These are the President House, the PM Secretariat, the FBR, health personnel and health establishments, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), all superior courts, the Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan, the Islamabad Capital Territory Police, the National Highways & Motorways Police, the Islamabad Model Traffic Police, the Airport Security Force, the Civil Armed Forces, the Intelligence Bureau, the Inter-Services Intelligence, the FIA, the National Assembly and the Senate Secretariat.


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