Adhoc relief

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THE government employees on Thursday called off their protest for raise in salaries after reaching an agreement with a special committee constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan. As per the decision, a 25 percent increase in salaries of federal government employees from grades 1 to 19 was approved on an ad-hoc basis, which is proposed to be merged with the basic pay in the next budget. There was also an agreement on promotion of employees on a time-scale basis for which a procedure would be devised.
The acceptance of demands of the protesting employees is a positive development but the ugly situation that erupted on Wednesday could have been averted if the same decision was taken just one day before. Though the Government has not granted relief to all employees and the percentage of the increase has also been reduced from the committed 40% to 25% but still it would go a long way in mitigating woes of the government servants. Strangely, the Government has left the issue of increase in the salaries of the provincial employees to provincial governments on the plea that it was for them to decide despite the fact that PTI has its own governments in Punjab and KPK. The disparity in salaries of different departments is a source of frustration among civil servants and, therefore, the decision to allow the 25% increase to only those employees who never received additional salary is understandable. However, the increase must also be applicable to employees of the autonomous bodies and corporations, who are equally affected by the price-hike.