Pay anomalies

Dear Editor,
The annual budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley, ensured a rise in the salaries of the MP s, the President of India, Vice president and Governors of the various states. The salary of the MP s would also be automatically raised every five years. This comes after a few days of the hike in the salary of judges of the High courts and the Supreme court of India. We had earlier seen the rise in the salaries of the MLA s, Ministers of the state of West Bengal. This is in deep contrast with the issue of giving the due salaries to the state government employees of various states, particularly West Bengal. The employees of the State Governments often get lower salaries compared to the salaries given to the employees of the Central Government. Furthermore, the state government employees of West Bengal have had to go to the Calcutta High Court for getting relief regarding the payment of dearness allowance. The payment of dearness allowance for the state government employees have been a custom for a long time and dearness allowance is an inevitable part of the salary which helps the employees and their family members, mostly belonging to the middle class, to bear the rising prices of essential commodities. The employees of West Bengal have also been long deprived of the benefits of the pay commission, the reports of which are not being published for reasons unknown to the employees. Although the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee had promised that she would clear off all the dues regarding dearness allowance within the year 2019, the government’s stand in the court has been quite different according to media reports.
The state government employees, which include employees of various important departments like Health, Transport , Police and Administration can be said to be the pillars upon which the actual implementation of the policies of the State governments depend and the efficient working of the departments has a direct bearing on the common man. So, if the state governments are to function efficiently, it is imperative and inevitable that the rightful demands of the employees are met as soon as possible. The rise in the salaries of the above mentioned high dignitaries vis-a-vis delay in the hike of state government employees might create discontent among the government employees as well as the general public. A shining Bengal , or any state for that matter cannot possibly be ensured without resolving the grievances of the people who are to ensure the implementation of the government schemes.
Arijit Kundu
North 24 Parganas
West Bengal