Is Hike The Solution For Efficacy?

rup.jpgThis time the Budget 2008 has raised many eyebrows, especially of the people working for the private sector. The reason behind this is the hike in the salaries of the civil service employees. The Pay Commission has shocked everyone with its new move. But the worry which is extremely haunting is whether it is necessary to hike the salaries and dearness allowances of the Government employees. It is not that the Government employees do not deserve a fat pay cheque, but then the condition of the Government offices and the kind of work which is being done out there should be transparent. I feel, and I think most of you will agree with me, it is not up to the standard and hardly any goals are met. Moreover, the officers who are in the high posts are misusing their positions and often take undue advantage of their chair. The point which is to be noted here is that if the hike in the salaries of these lethargic employees is validated, then there is a possibility that the amount of work which was supposedly done by these employees will cease to exist at all. The officers in the Government departments are in deep slumber and they have forgotten their role and responsibility towards the society. This is the reason why the public is dissatisfied with the work being done around. If the Government wants to hike salaries of such miscreants who are irresponsible towards their duty then the day is not distant when the entire system would be corrupted.

The union cabinet has decided to raise the dearness allowance (DA) for central Government employees and pensioners by six percent, taking it to 47 percent of their basic pay. The hike will be effective from Jan 1 this year. Announcing the decision, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priyaranjan Dasmunshi said: ‘The union cabinet has approved the additional installment of dearness allowance to union Government employees and relief to pensioners due from January 1, 2008 in cash at the rate of 6 percent over the existing rate of 41 percent, increasing it to 47 percent. This will entail an additional state expenditure of about Rs.32 billion a year.

There was a trend in the past when most people would go for a Government job since it was believed that it brought guarantee and security for a good and easy going life. Guess what, this trend is only going to get better and better if the Government would continue to bring new benefits and better perks. However, the question which is worth asking is that whether the Government and the private sector is in some kind of a hurry to attract maximum population to their side by paying fat salaries to them. However, who will make them understand that India is over populated and there shouldn’t be any dearth of employees. In the private sector everything goes according to a definite plan and underperformers are not entertained in the industry and a replacement is immediately made. Unlike the private sector, in the Government sector there isn’t any such trend and so employees are not scared of losing their position and job if they under perform. A sense of security for the rest of their life is instilled deep in their minds and come what may they are not worried about anything. Good dearness allowances, better perks and now good salary what maximum one would want from a job. And here the efficiency declines as they are putting their pleasures and luxurious lifestyle over the public service. Who is suffering “The Indian Public” and who is going to cure their sufferings “no-one” as the responsible guys are busy structuring their own life with the free money they are getting for not performing.

The Indian Government is already in debt up to its neck and still they are introducing newer ideas to lure more and more people into the service. What is the need of all this when a handful could do a work with efficacy? Hire less people and pay them more, by this way one doesn’t need to waste money on someone who are ignorant and lethargic. The Government departments are slow compared to the private and the reason is clear. If Government wants to provide employment, then hiking salary may not be the best of the ways. However, what it can do is consider merit as the principal way to get a good Government job by doing this more and more people would come to the level and will try to upgrade themselves. No one should play with the aspirations of the common public and it is the time when a radical cleaning up of unnecessary minions from top to bottom is called for. Such a test needs to be conducted in order to ensure survival of the best and the brightest, the well educated and the experienced in various Government positions. India doesn’t need extraneous, parasitical, non-performing “babus” who walk the corridors with another junior babu carrying his briefcase.

Rather, the Government should double the new salary scale for a dramatically reduced number of employees, introducing hire-and-fire based on the norms of the private sector and make these “babus” accountable to the public for their work.

Ravi Agrawal

[Image courtesy:]