While around 50 lakh government employees are waiting for a salary hike beyond the recommendations of the seventh pay commission, good news arrived for around 3 lakh employees as the Modi government reportedly had given thumbs up for an increase in their pay. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday has approved the revision in the wage structure and allowances of Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) of the Department of Posts. The development came after the employees protested nationwide which had impacted the delivery of mail across regions.
The revision in the wage structure would entail an estimated expenditure of Rs 1,257.75 crore. This includes the non-recurring expenditure of Rs 860.95 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs 396.80 crore during 2018-19, a Cabinet statement read.
“Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) who were getting Rs 2,295 per month will get Rs 10,000. Those who were getting Rs 2,775 will get Rs 12,500. GDS who were paid Rs 4,115 will get Rs 14,500 per month,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
He said the revised wages will come with arrears with effect from January 1, 2016. He said that allowances will be over the basic pay and the Cabinet has also added for the first time approved risk and hardship allowances for GDS.
There is around 2.6 lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks working across the country.
The minister said GDS will now work in two shifts instead of three.
The Cabinet has also approved the compensatory appointment of a dependent of GDS which was not allowed earlier, Sinha said.
The revision in the wage structure would entail an estimated expenditure of Rs 1,257.75 crore in 2018-19. This includes the non-recurring expenditure of Rs 860.95 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs 396.80 crore in the current fiscal year.”The face of India Post is changing. We have created parcel directorate and India Post Payments Bank is going to start. In coming days, a separate insurance company will work under the postal department. GDS will be our carriers,” Sinha said. Though the basic pay has been hiked by over three-fold, there is around 56 percent average increase in total wages across the board. The government will pay dearness allowance of 7 percent on the basic pay as per 7th Central Pay Commission instead of 142 percent paid at present.
There are 2.6 lakh GDS who work for around 1.3 lakh rural post offices in the country. GDS work in the shift of 3 hours, 3.5 hours, 4 hours, 4.5 hours and 5 hours and remain in service till the age of 65 years.
Earlier, there were 11 slabs which have been reduced to three categories and now there will be two designations only- Branch Post Master (BPM) and assistant branch postmaster (ABPM). Those who are supposed to get Rs 12,000 pay will work in the shift of 4 hours, while level 2 GDS — whose basic pay is increased to Rs 14,500 — will have to work for 5 hours.
Gramin Dak sevaks have been on strike since last few days over demand for the recommendation of a committee formed under postal board member Kamlesh Chandra. The minister appealed to them to return to work following the Cabinet decision.
“The revision in wages is in line with the recommendation of the committee led by postal board member Kamlesh Chandra and it was accepted under my chairmanship. Now, the compensatory appointment will also be allowed for dependents of GDS,” Sinha said.
He further said that annual hike of 3 percent has also been decided as per the request of GDS, which will be granted every year either on January 1 or July 1.
“Government has introduced a new allowance in the name of risk and hardship allowance which was not provided to them earlier. Besides this, allowances — office maintenance allowance, combined duty allowance, cash conveyance charges, cycle maintenance allowance, boat allowance and fixed stationery charges have been hiked,” Sinha said.
The risk and hardship allowance of Rs 500 per month will be paid to GDS.
The composite allowance has been increased to Rs 500 from Rs 100 paid earlier, boat allowance to Rs 115 from Rs 50 and combined duty allowance to a minimum of Rs 1,170 and maximum of Rs 2,340 from Rs 500 per month.
The minimum wage of GDS has been increased to Rs 10,000 per month and maximum of Rs 35,480 per month.