This refers to the news report, ‘Punjab CS, IG get pay raise’ (Jan 29). The hefty ‘superior executive allowance’ to the chief secretary and the inspector general of the Punjab police has created unrest among bureaucrats and the common man. The monthly salaries of the two officers have been increased by Rs400,000 and Rs375,000. Last year, the government scaled the basic salaries of parliamentarians up by more than 100 percent – from Rs72,000 to Rs200,000.
All of this is happening in a country where minimum monthly wages are capped at Rs14,000 – a large number of institutions employ people on salaries lesser than the basic pay set by the government. Pensions of retired employees are as low as Rs200. This hefty allowance should be condemned at all levels.
Although it is the government’s responsibility to take care of all citizens, the retired people deserve special attention since they have no other source of income. During the last PPP government, pensioners got a raise of 20 percent. However, the present PML-N-led government dropped the rate by 50 percent. Pensioners received a raise of 10 percent only while parliamentarians successfully received a whopping 146 percent increase in their salaries.
Now, the chief minister of Punjab has granted a hefty superior executive allowance to the chief secretary and the IG of the Punjab police. Although the CM might have done it in good faith and to recognise the officers’ services, this is bound to cause resentment among bureaucrats across the country. Why are only a few chosen people given raise and other benefits? It is time the government approved a raise in pensions as well. Pensioners are optimistic that in the upcoming budget, the PML-N-led government will approve a substantial increase in their pensions.