THE government plans to set up a six-member Pay and Pension Commission to review the salaries of its employees and the pensions of retired bureaucrats. This is in line with the promise that an upward revision would periodically take place. Given the inflationary spiral that is making it hard for the people to make both ends meet, there is surely a crying need to bring about a handsome increase in the income of affected persons. The fixed income groups are the hardest hit and merit special attention. The constitution of the Commission, however, raises the question whether the country does not have dynamic new experts to handle the assignment. Invariably, we seem to have recourse to the usual breed of bureaucrats and those from the private sector hardly gifted with independent thinking. A majority of commission members should be able to think out of the box, and examine the basic structure of salaries and pensions to recommend a thorough shake-up. For instance, perks of senior officials need to be done away with; instead they keep on growing with increase in salary. The lower ranks hardly ever get a fair deal. Similarly, the question of giving the same amount of pension to persons retiring in a particular grade, irrespective of the year in which they had retired, should be seriously taken up to bring it in line with the practice in the rest of the world. The government must publish dissenting notes in the Commission's report, so that the public should know the thinking of different members on this vital issue. Low salaries also serve as a disincentive to bright people joining government service, with the result that performance leaves a lot to be desired. A suitable revision of salaries constitutes a basic reform input for government departments and deserves adequate attention.