SEBI for pay hike to staff; salaries may nearly double

The proposed pay hike would result in additional annual payout of Rs 14.46 crore, while the senior level officers could be the biggest beneficiaries by way of more than 90 per cent increases in their emoluments, sources close to the development said.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had over 600 employees at the end of last fiscal, which included nearly 500 officers of various ranks and remaining secretaries and other support staff.

The sources said that the SEBI board, in its meeting held last week that also considered issues like higher investment limit for retail investors as also restrictions on preferential allotment of warrants to promoters, discussed the pay hike issue for the employees across all segments.

A memorandum to this effect was placed before the board, which mentioned that there have been no pay revision since 2007 for SEBI staff, although banking sector regulator RBI had accorded special allowances for officers and as also a pay revision for all staff during this period.

Way back in 1999, SEBI board had decided that the pay scales for its staff would be on the pattern of RBI. The pay revision as effected by RBI in 1995, 2001 and 2005 were implemented in SEBI also.

Last month, RBI again revised the pay scales and allowances for its staff members and the revision was implemented retrospectively with effect from November 1, 2007. Accordingly, it was proposed that SEBI extends the benefits of revised pay to its staff with effect from November 1, 2007, a senior SEBI official said.

SEBI has also proposed to implement now onwards a special grade allowance, similar to the one introduced by RBI in 2005 and 2007, as they were not given to SEBI staff in the past.

The official said that the additional payout per annum for SEBI upon implementation of these pay hike proposal would be Rs 14.46 crore for the existing staff strength. As per the proposed hike, the basic pay for officers in the top grades would increase to as high as Rs 67000 per month from a maximum of Rs 35,600 currently.

The total pay package would increase by over 92 per cent from Rs 58,498 to Rs 1,12,333 for the top-grade officers. For junior level officers, the pay would rise from Rs 23185 to Rs 35313, the official said.

During the last fiscal also, SEBI had enhanced staff allowances and benefits related to medical, briefcase and telephone reimbursement. Besides, it also introduced annual family health check up and Eye Refraction Test reimbursements.

Sources said that SEBI was planning for this pay hike since long and it had already made provisions for the same while preparing the budget estimates for the current fiscal. In its budget estimate for the financial year 2010-2011, the SEBI had estimated the total revenue expenditure at about Rs 155.13 crore, as against revised revenue expenditure of Rs 766.5 crore in the previous fiscal.

The main reason for increase in the expenditure estimate was due to consideration given to the revision of salaries due since November 2007 and arrears thereof. It may be recalled that last month, the government proposed a salary of Rs three lakh a month for the next SEBI Chairman, who would assume office after the term expires for the incumbent C B Bhave in February 2011.

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