Thursday, February 20, 2014

Government to set the terms of 7th Pay Panel today

NEW DELHI: The union cabinet will on Thursday freeze the terms of reference of the seventh pay commission, allowing the government to take credit for recalibrataion of salaries of central government employees that could take up to two years.

The cabinet will also consider a proposal to set up a non-statutory coal regulator and also another one to convert 7,200 kms of state roads to national highways, which could come handy when the UPA seeks votes.

The seventh pay commission will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ashok Kumar Mathur. It will submit its report in 19 months and the award will be effective January 2016, the government had said earlier this month.

The award will benefit nearly 35 lakh central government employees and also cover defence personnel.

The commission will have Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary Vivek Rae as full time member while Rathin Roy, Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy will be a part time member. The terms of reference will spell out the categories of employees covered by the review that seeks to adjusts salaries usually after a decade. In the interim, central government employees get two installments of dearness allowance every year to compensate for price rise.

The government can also task the commission with any other issue tied to employee compensation.


The coal ministry has proposed to set up a regulator though executive authority that will not have statutory powers. Its role would largely be recommendatory that will leave it with little power over pricing and allocation or cancellation of coal blocks.

The proposed regulator has been in the works for almost two years.

The government could not get the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013 bill passed, forcing it to opt for an executive set up in the interim.

State roads to be upgraded to highways The 7,200 kms of roads include about 5000-km of regular state roads, and over 2000-km of roads that are strategically important particularly from the defence perspective.

The government will spend over.`28,000 crore over next seven years on these roads to upgrade them to national highways and regions like Telangana that is on the verge of becoming a state would get priority.

The upgrade of roads will gives priority to districts that are not connected with the existing national highway network.

In addition, it will also include about 2,200-km of state roads in regions including the North-East, Jammu and Kashmir, and Gujarat have been identified as having 'strategic importance.'

Source:-The Economic Times

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