Punjab Pay Commission in the light of strong precedents set by the EC

The Punjab government Sunday asked the Election Commission of India to review its refusal on the implementation of the recommendations of the 5th Punjab Pay Commission in the light of strong precedents set by the EC itself.It may be recalled that the Election Commission had turned down the Punjab government’s earlier request to his effect saying that this infringed upon the model code of election conduct. But the government today expressed surprise over the EC move and has sought reconsideration of the decision citing several examples of such permission having been granted by the Commission in the past.

Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Harcharan Bains said here today that the government wanted a review of the decision in the light of Election Commission earlier go-ahead to the Chattisgarh for the implementation of pay panel report even while the election code was in force there. "We feel that this constitutes discrimination to the Punjab staff and we want the Commission to follow its own precedents in this regard. We have pointed this dichotomy out to the Commission and expect a favourable response," said Bains.

The Punjab government has contended that the Pay Commission had already finalized the report as per the terms of reference issued by the state government on March 3, 2008 and the commission was asked to submit its report within a year by March 31, 2009. As now the report is ready for the submission, the Chief Secretary has once again approached the Election Commission to seek its approval.

Bains further said that the state Cabinet had already given its approval in principle for the implementation of Pay Commission’s Report in its last meeting held in the last week of February, well before the Model Code came into force. "Denial by the Election Commission to Punjab alone for implementing Pay Panel Report in would be hard to justify," observed the Media Advisor.

Source : Punjab NewsLine.