ISLAMABAD: Employees of Federal Secretariat have demanded that the government implement a decision by the Secretaries Committee to raise the running basic pay by 120pc.

The employees said the government was using delaying tactics in the implementation of the committee’s decision.

“The indecision on part of the government/approving authority is giving rise to frustration and unrest among the Fed. Sectt employees, both officers and lower staff,” read a statement issued by employees.

It added that in case that the government refuses to implement the committee’s recommendations, the staff will carry out a pen-down strike from March 2.

Last month the Secretaries Committee, the highest forum of the bureaucracy, recommended that employees of the Federal Secretariat from grades one to 22

be given a 120pc raise in salaries and federal and additional secretaries deputed to ministers and divisions should be given an executive allowance from Jan 1 of this year.

“Federal Secretariat is the seat of the government where most of the officers belong to Office Management Group (OMG) or Secretariat Group (SG) and are appointed through CSS exams or via promotion exams (SOPE). When a BS-17 officer is first appointed here after qualifying the CSS exams and undergoing two types of rigorous trainings, he draws Rs46,000 (presently) as total take-home salary,”thestatement said.

It said that this sum is supposed to sustain a family in Islamabad for the whole month, while the official maintains decorum, pays utility bills, educates children, provides healthcare, manages conveyance and rents a home.

On the other hand, when grade 17 officers are first appointed to any of the provincial secretariats they draw more than Rs100,000, and the cost of living in the provinces is far lower than Islamabad.

The statement said the pay structure in the Federal Secretariat was depressing for employees irrespective of grade.

The secretariat employees said that in the last budget, the Ad-hoc Relief Allowance granted by the

government was not even sufficient to offset the impact of the revised income tax slabs; hence, for the first time in history the take-home salary of the employees was actually reduced when compared to the previous fiscal year.

“Secretaries Committee in its various meetings has examined this issue and recommended pay-raise of 120pc of running basic pay, however, indecision on part of the government is giving rise to frustration and unrest,” the statement said.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2020