ISLAMABAD - The incumbent government has made up its mind to increase the salaries of civil servants by 10 percent in the upcoming budget 2014-2015 as it will link the pay raise to the prevailing inflation rate in the country, which is hovering around 10 percent.
The Finance Ministry has decided, in principle, to give the pay rise according to increase in the inflation rate in the country. “The govt is likely to increase civil servants’ salaries by 10pc as the Finance Ministry would present the proposal in the cabinet meeting for its final decision in this regard,” official sources privy to economic gurus, currently working on the federal budget 2014-2015, revealed to The Nation.
He said the inflation rate is around 10 percent (prissily 9.2pc), which would be made the basis for increasing salaries. It is to be mentioned here that the PML-N govt had increased the salaries of civil servants by 10pc in the budget 2013-2014.
However, the Finance Ministry’s spokesperson/adviser, Rana Asad Amin, when contacted for confirmation, expressed ignorance over the matter, saying, “I do not know anything about it.”
Interestingly, in a sharp move, the treasury benches in the National Assembly moved a resolution, demanding increase in salaries of govt employees in the coming budget, which was unanimously passed by the lower house. The resolution said, “This house is of the opinion that the government should take immediate steps to increase the salaries of the federal government employees in proportion to price hike.” Speaking on the resolution, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Afzal Khan said the govt was sincerely considering increase in the salaries of the federal government employees. He said the government would provide relief to all the government employees according to the available resources. The opposition parties also favoured the resolution.
However, an independent parliamentarian, Jamshed Dasti, lashed out at the rulers, calling them enemies of the poor. He demanded 50 percent increase in the salaries of the civil servants.
The Finance Ministry officials are of the view that the government is likely to present the new budget on June 6, 2014, in the National Assembly. However, a final date of unveiling the budget would be given after the return of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to Pakistan. Ishaq Dar is currently in Dubai to attend the Pakistan-IMF talks for fourth tranche worth $550 million. The IMF would also give its direction to Pakistan for the budget of the next fiscal year. Sources in the Finance Ministry said the govt was working to finalise the main contours of the budget on the basis of ‘Budget Strategy Paper 2013-2016’. The figures given in the BSP documents for the next budget are not final, being based on revised estimates of the outgoing financial year.
Rana Asad Amin, spokesperson for the Finance Ministry, said, “The figures given in the BSP for the financial year 2014-2015 might be changed according to the revised estimates, but general direction would be the same as given in the BSP.”