In a statement to the press, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra has shown concern over the idea of paying contract workers in line with the Eight and Ninth Pay Commissions. Ajit Pawar, who is also the chief of the National Congress Party (NCP), said that it will cost the Government a very heavy outlay if they were to give all payroll advantages to contractual workers too.
Taking a stand on the issue at the legislative council, Pawar expressed that, the state’s gross income including borrowings is Rs 4 lakh crore, of which Rs 1.51 lakh crore is spent on salaries and pensions of government employees. This amount is more than 25 per cent of the state’s gross income!
“I’m aware that everyone here feels that contractual staff should have the same benefits as permanent employees, but over the next few years, there will be the Eighth and Ninth Pay Commissions, and it will cost the state exchequer money, which it will not be able to afford,” responded Pawar to the question of including contractual workers in the payroll anytime in the near future.
According to the new pension scheme, the state government has to contribute 14 per cent of an employee’s salary towards the pension fund. Maharashtra has about 5.5 lakh employees in the state payroll. In addition, it has nine lakh employees of aided institutes, 7.7 lakh old pensioners and 2.78 lakh new pensioners.