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Budget 2024-25 Significant salary increases anticipated

Budget 2024-25: Significant salary increases anticipated

In the run-up to the federal budget announcement, the Ministry of Finance in Pakistan has unveiled preliminary proposals to increase the salaries of government employees. While the suggested hike ranges from 15% to 20% for federal employees, final decisions will rest with the Prime Minister after thorough consultations with the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet.

However, these proposals come with notable challenges. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stressed the need for cost reductions and comprehensive pension reforms, implying that significant salary and pension increases might be difficult to implement. This scenario places the government in a delicate position, needing to balance fiscal prudence with the imperative to support its workforce.

  1. Salary Increase:
  • A general salary increase of 10% for employees across grades 1 to 22 is estimated to cost around Rs 80 billion.
  • Additional demands include a 200% increase in medical and conveyance allowances for employees in grades 1 to 16. Currently, these employees receive Rs 1,800 as conveyance allowance and Rs 1,500 as medical allowance. Similar increases are proposed for grades 17 and 18 officers, who currently receive Rs 5,000 as conveyance allowance.
  1. Monetization Policy:
  • For officers up to grade 20, the monetization allowance is proposed to increase from Rs 65,000 to Rs 105,000.
  • For grade 21 officers, the proposed increase is from Rs 75,000 to Rs 120,000.
  • Grade 22 officers might see their monetization increase from Rs 95,000 to Rs 155,000.
  1. Disparity Allowance:
  • Employees in grades 1 to 16 had received disparity allowances of 25% in 2021 and 15% in 2022 to address salary discrepancies between provincial and federal employees. Continuing this allowance is proposed to further reduce these discrepancies.

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Challenges and Considerations

  • IMF Constraints: The IMF’s recommendations for cost reduction and pension reforms add a layer of complexity to implementing these salary increases. The government needs to balance these fiscal constraints with the need to support its employees adequately.
  • Budget Impact: The proposed increases, especially in medical and conveyance allowances, will significantly impact the budget. The government must find a way to accommodate these changes without compromising other essential expenditures.

All these proposals are in the preliminary stages, with final decisions pending the Prime Minister’s review and consultations with the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet. The upcoming federal budget will reveal how these proposals are balanced with IMF recommendations and overall fiscal policy goals. These decisions will ultimately reflect the government’s approach to managing fiscal responsibility while addressing the needs and expectations of its employees.