By the Way

Waiting for Pandora’s box to open

The implementation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission report is a Pandora’s box for the states. The babus in the state bureaucracies are a worried lot as they may not get the benefit of the handsome package recommended by the Pay Commission. It is a norm that once the Central Pay Commission report is implemented by the Centre, the states are automatically under pressure to maintain pay parity. In the current circumstances, the financial condition of many states is not healthy. Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Punjab have reportedly written to the Centre to delay the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission report, citing their fiscal health and inability to shoulder such a huge financial burden. As per reports, it would imply a total burden of `1,02,100 crore on the central exchequer, and if the same formula is adopted by the states, there will be a huge burden on the existing fiscal frame of the states as well. The states have approached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Cabinet Secretary and Niti Aayog, seeking more time for implementing the pay panel’s report. The states which are nearing assembly elections are really in a big soup. Any suggestions?

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