Govt pay still low at higher lev­els: Study

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Aloke Tikku [email protected]­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: Here is why mil­lions queue up for a gov­ern­ment job: it al­ready pays quite well.

From school­teach­ers and clerks to even soft­ware en­gi­neers, the gov­ern­ment and pub­lic sec­tor pay fresh re­cruits sub­stan­tially more than pri­vate firms but employees lose the edge as they rise to higher ech­e­lons. Th­ese were the find­ings of a study au­tho­rised by the sev­enth pay panel that the com­mis­sion headed by jus­tice AK Mathur threw back at em­ployee as­so­ci­a­tions which sought par­ity with the pri­vate sec­tor.

The re­port found that a fresh soft­ware en­gi­neer in the pri­vate sec­tor could ex­pect a monthly salary of only around Rs25,000 against Rs52,000 in the gov­ern­ment and Rs70,000 in the pub­lic sec­tor.

Sim­i­larly, the salary at en­try and mid­dle lev­els for sci­en­tists is higher in the gov­ern­ment than in the pri­vate sec­tor. It is only at se­nior lev­els that the “com­pen­sa­tion is slightly bet­ter in the pri­vate sec­tor,” the pay panel said in the find­ings sub­mit­ted last week.

And this is the sit­u­a­tion be­fore the pay hikes rec­om­mended by the panel come into force. No won­der pub­lic re­cruit­ment body the Staff Se­lec­tion Com­mis­sion re­ceived over 17 mil­lion ap­pli­ca­tions in 2014 for about 55,000 jobs.

Shekhar Singh, an aca­demic who has lec­tured civil ser­vants, said there was need for more trans­parency. “Not just on what de­ci­sions are taken by the gov­ern­ment on the panel’s rec­om­men­da­tion but also why the gov­ern­ment ac­cepted, or re­jected, ev­ery sug­ges­tion,” he said.

The study by the In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Ahmed­abad es­ti­mated the pay pack­ets in the pri­vate sec­tor on the ba­sis of job ad­ver­tise­ments and ques­tion­naires to pri­vate firms, big and small.

One rea­son why ex­pe­ri­enced staffers in the gov­ern­ment lose out to their coun­ter­parts in the pri­vate sec­tor is due to the lack of a cred­i­ble mech­a­nism to as­sess per­for­mance.

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