The Annual Report 2014 of the Ministry of Finance has highlighted the need to implement a new salary structure in the Public Sector given that the current salary structure, which was prepared eight years ago, needs to be amended considering the present requirements. The prevailed complex and irregular salary structure in the public sector was regularized in 2006 to a greater extent followed by a comprehensive study. Posts were re-categorized reducing the number of salary scales up to 36 from 127.
However, according to the report, the ultimate objective of the new salary structure adopted in 2006, could not be achieved due to affixing various allowances to it, considering the increase in cost of living index and the requests from various employee categories from time to time, during last few years and as a result, an unrest among different employee categories were developed affecting the economy.
“Further, a considerable disparity appears between the existing salary structures of private and public sectors. In private sector, salaries of management and executive level grades are high compared to the lower grades. Conversely, in public sector, lower grade employees draw fairly high salaries compared to the management and executive grades. This results difficulty in attracting qualified intellectuals to the professional and managerial level posts of public sector,” the report has pointed out.
The report further noted that continuous escalation of government recruitments, various interventions with respect to government recruitment, the wide gap between the salary structure of private and public sector, accountability for rational utilization of government revenue and bargaining power of various employee groups are some of the challenges that confronted in revising the existing salary structure.
“However, it is a timely requirement to prepare a rationalized salary structure acceptable by entire public service, taking qualifications at recruitment and service level into consideration, consistent with the assigned duties for each post. Further, payment of allowances extraneous to the common salary structure which create anomalies among employee groups should not be encouraged. Therefore, a suitable mechanism should be introduced to determine all the allowances by a central independent agency to ensure there will be no distortions in the common salary structure in future,” the report has stated.
Over the years, the cadre of public sector has gradually increased and has reached 1.4 million.
“Unless productivity in public service is increased, the pressure on public sector as well as the entire economy would be high. It is a timely need to carry out an extensive cadre review within the entire organizational system in compliance with the changes of government policies taken place from time to time rather than cadre adjustments in government institutions,” the report added.