Employees hope MLC polls will not delay pay revision

Uncertainty over implementation of PRC recommendations

Announcement of schedule for elections to two Legislative Council seats under the Graduates’ Constituencies has cast a shadow over the implementation of the Pay Revision Commission recommendations.

The model code of conduct has come into force when there was forward movement relating to the PRC recommendations. The PRC submitted its report after 32 months of exercise on December 31 recommending fitment of 7.5 %, which was objected to by the employees’ representatives.

The government subsequently constituted a three-member committee headed by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar which held elaborate discussions with the employees’ unions for taking their concerns on record. The three-member committee is said to have completed its report for submission to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for a final decision.

But, the model code of conduct has come into force leading to uncertainty on whether the government can effect pay revision before the completion of the poll process scheduled to be completed in March third week. The Model Code restricts announcement of new schemes/projects and also grant new relief after the announcement of the elections, the EC said in the guidelines on MCC.

The Commission said work projects that have actually started on the ground after obtaining all necessary sanctions can be continued without reference to the EC. Likewise, existing works, including beneficiary projects where specific beneficiaries have been identified by name before coming of the Model Code into force can be continued.

But uncertainty grips the implementation of the PRC given the large number of employees, including those who are voters in the upcoming elections and the magnitude of finances involved in it. Employees are, however, citing the instance of 2018 when the government took the EC’s consent for crediting the instalment of Rythu Bandhu into farmers’ accounts in October when the model code was operational.

Employees’ unions are hopeful that the government would address a letter to the ECI through the office of the Chief Electoral Officer seeking its consent for implementation of the PRC recommendations as it is an ongoing process, not initiated afresh. The process initiated for giving promotions to employees at different levels is, however, unlikely to be affected as the EC’s guidelines say that regular recruitment or appointment or promotion through statutory authorities can continue.

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