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Naveen nod to salary sop in poll season

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 14: The Naveen Patnaik government is on the poll mode.

The cabinet, chaired by the chief minister, today approved a hefty 36 per cent salary hike of government officials involving an additional financial burden of Rs 2,255 crore on the state funds in times of acute global recession.

The highest raise would be Rs 9,000 and the lowest raise would be around Rs 4,000, said an official of the finance department.

The pay revisions are to be made on the basis of recommendations made by the Sixth Pay Commission of the central government. The report of the Fitment Committee, appointed by the government, would be effective from January 1, 2006, said finance minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei.

While 40 per cent of the arrear salary hike of last 36 months will be paid along with current salary of December, the rest of the arrears would be cleared from January, the minister added.

During the current fiscal, the government will bear an additional burden of Rs 2,255 crore on payment of arrears, salary hike and current salary for the next three months, he said.

Around 3.97 lakh government officials and 34,899 employees of private-aided educational institutions will benefit from the revision, official sources said.

Apart from the pay revision, government employees in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will get revised house rent at the rate of 20 per cent of the basic pay, while the amount will be 10 per cent for rest of the state.

In order to simplify the process of the revision, the Sixth Pay Commission and the Fitment Committee have restricted 28 types of pay scales to five pay bands.

The cabinet not only gave its nod to the pay revision, it also waved the green light to an increase in block grants to private education institutions from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.

The additional financial implications will be to the tune of Rs 68 crore for the particular proposal.

The proposal for creation of third peon posts in private aided educational institutions was also approved by the cabinet today.

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