Karnataka government employees may soon hit a jackpot as the Congress-ruled state is likely to announce a 24 to 30 percent pay hike for its over six lakh staff and pensioners in the upcoming budget.
Extra holiday but extra working hours
If the hike is a good news enough to relish, the government is also planning to introduce holidays on every alternate Saturdays in government offices, Times of India reported. The employees have actually demanded a five-day week and salaries on par with central government employees.
If the decision gets implemented, then the state government employees will have to work six days a week for two weeks a month whereas currently, they work six days for three weeks a month while every second Saturday is a holiday.
However, to compensate for the holiday, the employees may have to work for a little extra time on the remaining working Saturdays.
"To ensure this does not lead to a decrease in work hours, the government is toying with the idea of extending office hours on the first and third Saturdays," a senior official of the state department of personnel and administrative services (DPAR) was quoted as saying by TOI.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the government had started working on the demands of the employees since the 2017 budget.
"We are in the process of finalising the report... We will submit it soon since the CM fixed January 31 as the deadline," retired IAS officer MR Srinivasa Murthy, the head of the committee working on the demands, said.
Reports claim that though the new decision will cost an additional Rs 10,800 crore for the state exchequer, a state minister said that is determined not to offer anything less than what the previous BJP government offered.
Such bonuses, just a few months before the state Assembly elections, may also be seen as Congress' way of ensuring a vote bank.