According to news reports on Thursday, Retired Justice CN Ramachandran Nair, Chairman of the 10th Pay Revision Commission was quoted as saying that no Government would risk implementing radical reforms in an election year.
The Cabinet had on Wednesday decided to implement the Pay Revision Commission Report with certain amendments which would cost the state government exchequer an additional burden of Rs.7222 crores.
The Pay Revision Commission had submitted its report to the state government in two parts.
The first part which was submitted in July 2015 dealt with the pay, allowances, pension and allied matters of all serving and retired government employees. It had recommended increasing the retirement age from 56 to 58 (which incidentally was not approved) and revise salaries every ten years rather than five as done currently.
The second part of its recommendations was submitted on December 31 last year and called for several measures of radical restructuring of government posts so as to check the wasteful draining of the state exchequer and thereby improve the efficacy, transparency and accountability of the state civil service while making maximum use of IT-enabled services.
The Justice Nair-led Commission had recommended the implementation of both parts simultaneously to ensure streamlining the government machinery as a whole.
But the United Democratic Front government chose not to implement the second part, as according to Justice Nair himself, no political party would want to risk their winning prospects by implementing measures which would undoubtedly rock the present political equilibrium.
Instead the Oommen Chandy-led government formed a committee to look into the second part of recommendations by the Pay Revision Commission as it reportedly was unable to take a decision in implementing the same with the Assembly polls due in April.
The committee to be helmed by the state chief secretary comprises the additional chief secretaries (Finance and Home) as well as secretaries from the department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, General Administration and Finance Expenditure.
Hence the onus of implementing the recommendations included in the second part would fall on the next government, as no deadline was given to the committee before which it would have to submit its findings.
The second part had recommended fixing salaries of government employees on the basis of attendance. Promotions –it said- were to be determined in accordance with the efficacy in the execution of work.
It suggested reducing the total state government holidays from 25 to 15 with entitled casual leave too being brought down from 20 to 15, as it wanted to ensure 285 working days in a year.
Other recommendations included inclusion of the secretariat in the administrative service while also foregoing the practice of unwarranted deputation of government staff.
Justice Nair had also called for strict implementation of the Right to Education Act and limit the teacher-student ratio according to the central pattern.