ISLAMABAD - Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government Thursday announced raise in salaries of the government employees up to 35 per cent at par with the Federal Government decision. Addressing a press conference, the AJK Finance Minister Col Waqar Noor (retd) said a 30 per cent raise was given to those above 17 grade whereas employees from grade one to 16 will receive a 35 per cent hike in salaries. However 17.5 in pension was also increased. Flanked by other cabinet members, the minister stated that the pay increase would have a financial impact of 16 billion rupees. Nevertheless, he assured that the government was determined to leave no stone unturned in ensuring relief to the employees. “We are in contact with the federal government, and we are hopeful that they will bear the financial burden of the pay raise.,” he added. Divulging details about availability of flour in AJK, he mentioned that flour was currently available in the market, and no decision had been made yet regarding a price increase. He further explained that a 15kg sack of flour was currently priced at Rs1550 in AJK, while the same quantity of flour was being sold for Rs3000 in other cities of Pakistan.