Govt employees to get 10pc increment of basic pay from July

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Government employees will get a 10 per cent increment on their basic salary from July.

Usually government employees receive a five per cent (increment) of their basic salary annually, and a five more per cent will be added to it, totaling 10 per cent.

Earlier on Sunday, prime minister Sheikh Hasina informed the parliament during her remarks on the proposed budget for the 2023-24 fiscal that government employees would receive additional five per cent on top of their annual increment of five per cent.

Sheikh Hasina said, "[I am] requesting the finance minister to grant a five per cent incentive of the basic pay to the government employees as a special salary in such a crisis period. Hopefully, the finance minister will accept it. We will provide a five per cent incentive of their basic pay as a special incentive."

Following the prime minsters’ remarks, Prothom Alo contacted the finance division under the finance ministry and learned they have taken preliminary preparation on this matter. Now a summary will be presented to the finance minister and then it will be forwarded to the prime minister’s office for approval. However, all work will be completed by July.

Sources said Tk 30-40 billion will be spent from the state exchequer for the additional five per cent. This is not a one-time incentive; rather it will be added to basic pay of government employees every month.

The finance division is trying their best to add the 10 per cent increment to the salary of the government employees for July. If the process is not completed within July, it will take August, but the incentive will be effective from July.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina hinted at raising the salary of the government employees during a press conference in mid-May before the budget. She said the salary of the government employees would be raised adjusting inflation.

Regarding this, professor of economics at Dhaka University and executive director of the South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM) Selim Raihan said, “When everyone faces the pressure of inflation, the new announcement came as a little relief for the government employees. My question is what would happen to the remaining people because everyone goes to market.”

As this correspondent points out Food Friendly Program (FFP) and Trading Corporation of Bangladesh’s (TCB) family card, Selim Raihan said it is true, but these programmes provide essentials for no more than 5-7 days. So, the government should take step to reduce inflation for all people of the country.

The 2015 National Pay Scale states public servants will receive an increment of 5 per cent on their basic pay annually. The increment was recommended for inflation. With the rise in inflation, the percentage of increment increases.

Though inflation stood at 9.94 per cent in this May, the government estimates 6 per cent inflation for the next fiscal. According to finance division officials, as the government didn’t follow the recommendations of the 2015 National Pay Scale, issue of increment came to the limelight.

The 2015 National Pay Scale recommends an increment of five per cent, and if inflation exceeds 5 per cent, rate of increment will also rise. The government, however, was not following it.

Tk 742.66 billion was allocated for salary and allowance of the government employees in the budget for 2022-23 fiscal, which was reduced to Tk 738.93 billion in the revised budget.

The government proposed Tk 816.19 billion for salary and allowance of the government employees in the budget for 2023-24 fiscal and fund for additional increment will be made available from this allocation.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder said, “People enjoying retirement benefits are facing maximum pressure of inflation. I don’t know whether people enjoying retirement benefits would receive this five per cent incentive. I hope the top level of the government would see the issue positively. If the people enjoying retirement benefits are left out, there can be nothing unfortunate than this.”