New Delhi: With an eye on the coming elections to the Lok Sabha, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government is expected to increase the salaries of around 250,000 executives at state-owned or public sector firms, at least two government officials said.
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The rise in pay is likely to be in the range of Rs3,000 to Rs15,000, depending upon the current pay scale of the executive, the officials, who did not want to be identified, said.
“The group of ministers (GoM) that was constituted for the purpose has debated the issue and submitted its report to the DPE (department of public enterprises). DPE, in turn, has submitted it to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has asked the decision to be taken by the cabinet,” said one of the two officials.
Cabinet decision: Union minister Sontosh Mohan Dev was working towards getting nod for pay hike. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
DPE comes under the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises, which handles general administrative matters related to public sector firms.
“The decision will be taken shortly by the Union cabinet. As part of the recommendation, the fitment benefits have been increased to 78.5%, which in turn will increase the basic pay. This will also increase the perks as they are linked to basic pay,” said the second official.
This will affect employees in companies owned and run by the Central government such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd and NTPC Ltd.
The government is trying to prevent any further strikes— similar to that orchestrated by employees of state-owned oil companies in December, with significant cascading effects—in the run-up to the elections that are due to be held by May.
A three-day strike spearheaded by the Oil Sector Officers’ Association—an umbrella group that was demanding a pay increase for the 55,000 employees in the sector—in December triggered nationwide shortages of petroleum products such as petrol and diesel.
Mint had reported on 22 January that the Union minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Sontosh Mohan Dev had started working towards getting the cabinet to agree to the pay hike.
“After we receive the GoM report, I will take it to the Prime Minister, shortly after which we will move a cabinet note for the cabinet’s decision on the same, as we are the nodal ministry appointed for this,” Dev had said then.
Dev couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday and he didn’t respond to a message left for him in his office.