PESHAWAR: The salary raise for police will cost Khyber Pakhtunkhwa exchequer Rs2.4 billion per annum and it came despite opposition by the province finance department, according to official sources.
The move will benefit the high ranking officers more than the constables, reflecting a difference of one to ten when compared the increase in the monthly salary of a constable and the inspector general of police after the implementation of the decision.While a grade-5 constable will get an increase of Rs2,730 per month, the government’s decision would lead to increase the inspector general of police’s monthly salary by Rs12,250, according to an official of the provincial government.
“The higher the grade, the greater will be the impact of the pay raise,” said the official.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak announced the decision while addressing a police function on Monday, attracting a mixed reaction from the senior civilian officials talked to by Dawn.
The move came as a surprise for both the provincial finance department and the home and tribal affairs department, for varying reasons.
While the finance department, said one of its officials, got an instant surprise after its reservations were ignored, the home and tribal affairs department authorities were not expecting the announcement on Monday.
“The chief minister was kind enough to announce the decision otherwise the home department had not been formally conveyed about the decision in advance,” said an official privy to the matter.
The matter, according to official sources, has been a subject of bureaucratic squabbling as the finance department opposed the move, challenging the premise on which the police department justified its case for increase in the employees’ salary.The senior police officers, said an official, had been justifying the increase citing Balochistan and Punjab as examples where, as per their argument, police were getting salaries higher than Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s force.
However, the finance department, according to more than one official, rejected the argument after the matter was referred to it last time when the home and tribal affairs department initiated the move a few months ago.
“The finance department,” said an official, “prepared a comparative analysis and it was found that policemen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were paid well than their compatriots in Punjab.”
Another officer concurred to that extent. He, however, said the salaries in Balochistan, another insurgency affected province, were higher than Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s police force.
After the finance department, said an official, came up with the adverse observation, the matter was again referred to the chief minister.
The official said the chief minister referred the matter back to the home and tribal affairs department, sanctioning a special allowance.
The special allowance involves a seven days’ salary for the entire police force, taking a clue from the Punjab police’s pay structure, wherein the policemen receive an Pay raise to benefit officers more than constables allowance equal to their one day salary – called daily allowance.
The seven-day daily allowance, according to a knowledgeable official, will increase the grade-5 to grade-13 policemen’s salary by Rs2,730 per month, those working in grade-14 to grade-16 will experience a salary increase of Rs4,900 per month, and for the grade-17 and grade-18 employees the pay raise would bring a monthly benefit of Rs8,750.
The police officers working in grade-19 and grade-20 will get an increase of Rs10,850 per month whereas the grade-21 and grade-22 officers will get a monthly improvement of Rs12,250.
However, according to an official, the police force ‘deserved’ the pay raise because, according to him, it did not get the increase when the provincial government announced the pay raise for the provincial public sector employees under the current fiscal’s budget.
“Since police get ‘risk allowance’ that is why the special allowance announced by the provincial government for the public sector employees, in line with a decision of the federal government, was not applied to the force,” said an official.
He said the matter was also referred to the finance department with a proposal to sanction the new (seven days salary) allowance – a point dismissed by the finance department’s authorities who said the Monday announcement came as a surprise for them.
The chief minister’s announcement would take the provincial government’s annual salary bill to a new height, raising it from the existing level of Rs125.23 billion estimated for the current financial year.
“This practice (raising salaries without taking into consideration the government’s income) would cost the province dearly as in the next couple of years time the provincial exchequer will experience a dip of more than Rs50 billion in its annual revenue,” said an official.