KARACHI - The federal government has decided to make provision for 15 per cent increase in the salaries of federal government employees in the 2008-09 budget, The Nation learnt on Tuesday. "If the federal government made 15 per cent increase in salaries, all the provincial governments would also adopt the same policy," the sources concerned said. Keeping in view the hike in inflation, the federal government is learnt to have taken final decision to raise salaries and pension of government employees by 15 percent. This move is in consonance with the democratic government assertion that relief would be given to common people and the salaried class in the next budget. According to the sources, the proposed increase in the salaries of government employees is not adequate as compared to the soaring trend of price-hike of essential commodities during the current year. As per the statistics of Sindh Services, General Administration and Co-ordination Department, the total number of government employees is around 0.490 million in Sindh. At least 206,165 employees are working under provincial government control while around 0.3 million others are under the district governments. An official concerned told The Nation that provincial government authorities met on Tuesday to evaluate the financial burden on provincial exchequer in the context of this implementation of increase in salaries in next fiscal year. A senior official of Sindh Finance Department said that it had been an established practice that if the federal government raised salaries and pensions of employees, the four provincial governments do the same. The pay scale would not be revised in the coming fiscal as revision in basic pay scale and allowances of provincial and federal government employees had already been notified in last fiscal, he confirmed. The employees of federal and provincial governments have been demanding since long that the salaries of the employees must be raised in proportion to the increase in prices of essential commodities.