According to well-placed sources, growing fiscal imbalances are not allowing the Government to pay revised salaries to the public sector employees even for the last quarter of the current financial year as against earlier promise of new remunerations from January 1, 2010.
At the time of the budget 2009-2010 in June last, the Government had undertaken to implement the Pay and Pension Commissions recommendations from January 1, 2010. The Commission was supposed to submit its final report in December, the deadline now extended till March 2010. The government employees from top to bottom are therefore perturbed over delays in their salaries revision and that too in the face of inflationary pressures. After receiving the final report of the Commission, the Finance Ministry would examine it for some time. Keeping in view the Governments capacity to pay new salaries as per the recommendations of the Commission, the Finance Ministry might amend the report before presenting it to the Federal Cabinet. The ministry would also seek the consent of the Secretaries Committee involving all federal secretaries in addition to Law Ministry.
Since the Commission is recommending abolition of system of basic pay scale (BPS) and monetisation of all perks and privileges including housing the transport facilities, the Government would first weigh the recommendations whether or not these were implementable. Former prime minister late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had introduced the Basic pay scale system in Civil Services Reforms of 1973.
According to the sources, the mantra of monetising the perks and privileges of civil servants was unique to Dr Ishrat Hussain, the Chairman of the Commission. They sources traced the roots of this mantra back to the World Bank that was the parent organisation of Dr Hussain. First time, the sources further informed, the World Bank has recommended back in 1990 to monetise the perks of civil servants.
This was not for the first time that Dr Hussain has been recommending monetisation of perks. He had recommended the same during the previous regime as the head of National Commission on Government Reforms, the sources observed. The sources also revealed TheNation that the Commission was not clear in recommending the substitute to the BPS. Prior to the 1973 reforms, the public servants were paid salaries according to the load of supervision, type of responsibility, and level of tensions born by the incumbent policymaker. Now if the Government for instance implements the recommendations of the Pay Commission as such, it would not be able touch the PBS in provincial administrations, the sources added.