Lahore - The Punjab government has approved 50 percent of the basic pay to all Civil Secretariat employees, the finance secretary notified it on Tuesday.

As per the notification, the rates of special allowance are revised from 20pc to 50pc of the basic pay scales of 2008 frozen on June 30, 2011. This will be applicable to the employees who draw their pay from payroll of Secretariat departments. The allowance will be effective from February 1, 2017. The said allowance will not be treated as a part of emoluments for the purpose of calculation of pension.

The officials who joined service on or after July 1, 2011, will be entitled to the grant of special allowance.

As per the notification, the allowance will be applicable to all officers and officials from basic pay scale 1 to BPS 22.

Moreover, there is a proposal to give executive allowance of Rs 375,000 to Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) and P&D chairman and additional chief secretary. Grade-21 officers, including secretaries and CMIT chairman may be given up to Rs 300,000 as executive allowance. The administrative secretaries may get about Rs 200,000 per month.

The Punjab government has already approved and notified superior executive allowances for the Punjab chief secretary and the IGP Rs 400,000 and Rs 375,000, respectively.

There is a proposal to increase the utility allowances for gazetted officers as well. The government has already increased utility allowances for officials of grade 1 to grade 16 and grade 17 superintendents and private secretaries. As per proposal, grade-17 SO may get Rs 15,000, deputy secretary Rs 20,000, additional secretary Rs 25,000 and secretary Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. This will be applicable after the approval of the CM office.

The Punjab Civil Secretariat officials called the increment a joke. They said that this was discriminatory action of the Punjab government to cool the tempered Civil Secretariat officials. “Why are were denied this rule when the employees of the Governor House and the Chief Minister Office are drawing such allowances on the running pay?” said an additional secretary, requesting anonymity.

The Punjab government allowed the special allowance to the officers of the Governor House in 2016, which was applicable on the running pay package; the same was being drawn by the Chief Minister Office, said a section officer, conditioning his name not to be mentioned. When contacted, Finance Secretary Hamid Yaqoob didn’t respond to the telephone call of this scribe.

“The Secretariat employees were getting 20pc of the basic pay which was frozen on June 30, 2011,” the SO said. Talking about the freezing of this allowance, the officer said the financial implications of this amount were unaffordable for the Punjab govt. “If the government wants to revive and revise the special allowance, it should be applicable on the running salaries,” he commented.

kMoreover, the special allowance will not be admissible to the Civil Secretariat officers on deputation or posted by transfer outside the Secretariat, attached departments, field formations and autonomous bodies. The Secretariat employees on extraordinary leave, study leave, long leave for 120 day or more, on training abroad or under suspension will not get this allowance.

­The officers belonging to judiciary posted in the Civil Secretariat who are in receipt of judicial allowance will not be able to get it.

Though exact number of employees working in Civil Secretariat is not available, sources said the biggest number of officers, about 2,000, was working in S&GAD. In all other departments, the number of employees is less than it. The health, home and finance departments also have a good number of employees, but not more than 1,000 each. There are 42 administrative secretaries, four member inquiries of S&GAD, about 75 additional secretaries, 150 deputy secretaries and about 410 section officers currently working in the Civil Secretariat.