Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Cabinet today gave its stamp of approval to revised pay scales for State government employees in accordance with 7th Pay Commission recommendations which was announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently.
“Already implementation of revised pay scales for State government employees in accordance with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission has been announced by the Chief Minister anticipating approval of the Cabinet. Today this was placed before the Cabinet which approved it,” informed Chief Secretary A P Padhi briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting at the State Secretariat here today.
The Chief Secretary said that the implementation of revised pay scales for State government employees would entail a financial burden of Rs 4,500 crore annually on the State exchequer while adding that the burden will be Rs 2250 crore in the current year since only six months is left.
He said provisions for the same have been made in the budget. 7th Pay Commission scales will come into effect with September’s salary, he added.
The Chief Secretary explained, “More or less we have almost entirely adopted what was recommended by the Central Pay Commission.”
“Arrears will be released in due course and it amounts to Rs 7500 crore,” informed Padhi in response to queries from reporters on payment of arrears to State government employees vis-à-vis implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
He said by and large contractual employees will be getting a hike of around 25% on their existing salaries while adding that they will get 10% increment every year.
The Cabinet also approved the recently concluded revised agreement between the State government and the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) with regard to Paradip refinery.
“The Chief Minister has already made an announcement with regard to our settlement of our dispute with IOCL. In short in accordance with our earlier MoU with IOCL we were to provide the total VAT amount collected from its sales as interest-free loan to the latter for a period of 11 years which they would have repaid in installments. As per the new agreement, they (IOCL) will deposit the entire VAT amount collected 100% with us every year and we will provide them with Rs 700 crore in four installments of Rs 175 crore every year as an incentive in the form of interest-free loan for 15 years. After 15 years this Rs 700 crore will be refunded to us them in annual four installments for next 15 years. As a result of the new agreement, we will have a cap of Rs 700 crore which was not there in the earlier agreement (MoU),” Padhi elaborated.
This has been done in line with concessions offered to refineries set up by PSUs at Bina, Bhatinda and Barmer around the same time, he added.
In yet another significant decision, the Cabinet today approved a policy on telecom infrastructure with regard to setting up of mobile towers and laying of optical fibre cables.
“Earlier the State government had no definite policy for setting up of mobile towers and laying of optical fibre cables by telecom companies. Housing and Urban Development department had brought a policy on this for urban areas in 2013 but there was no such policy for rural areas. Today we have brought in a standardized policy on this as a result of which fees for such activities have been determined for different places like in government land, LWE affected areas, difficult areas etc. We have given maximum relaxation for fees in LWE affected areas. Permission for such activities will be given by the BDO in rural areas and by the officers of urban local bodies in urban areas. Committees have been constituted at district and state-level for redressal of grievances. While district-level committees will be headed by the Collector, the state-level committee will be headed by the IT Secretary,” Padhi said.
A total of eight proposals were approved by the Cabinet today.