27 Jan 2018
Karnataka polls: Government staff set to get 24-30% salary hike
This February, Karnataka's government's 6.2 lakh employees and pensioners are all set to receive a 24-30% salary-hike from the Siddaramaiah-led administration.
It also plans to introduce holidays on alternate Saturdays in government offices.
This decision appears to be a pre-poll bonanza from the Congress government in its last-known bastion, other than Punjab.
The dates of 2018 Karnataka Assembly Election are yet to be announced.
Why has the government taken this step?
Presently, the employees have a six-day week with an additional off every second Saturday. However, they have been demanding a five-day week and a pay scale on par with central government employees.
Responding to these demands, CM Siddaramaiah had constituted a committee under retired-IAS officer MR Murthy to recommend the increase in salaries. The committee is yet to submit its report.
So, what is the government planning now?
Though employees are hoping for a 30-35% hike, the government may go for a 24-30% increase. This will cost the exchequer about Rs. 10,800cr.
The previous administration led by CM Sadanand Gowda, had hiked the pay by 22% as they neared the polls.
Since the five-day week may decrease work hours, the government is thinking of extending office-hours on the first and third Saturdays.
What does mean for Karnataka politics?
Meanwhile, the Karnataka polls will probably be held between last week of April and first week of May. However, the slugfest has begun.
BJP and Congress have been involved in a war of words, blaming one another for corruption, communalism and regionalism.
Recently, the Mahadayi river water dispute was also politicized.
In this scenario, let's see what impact the pay hike will have.