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Karnataka: Mid-term fiscal plan suggests reduction in staff strength using technology

The MTFP has observed that a lion’s share of the state budget is allocated towards the committed expenditure
Last Updated : 18 February 2023, 03:42 IST

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In the run-up to the Legislative Assembly election, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday announced that he had allocated Rs 6,000 crore to implement the 7th pay (Commission) scale for the state government employees. But the Medium Term Fiscal Plan (MTFP) has strongly recommended the state government to reduce the staff pattern and staff size by utilising technologies effectively.

Addressing media persons after presenting his budget, Bommai said that no matter whether a committee, headed by the former chief secretary Sudhakar Rao, submits an interim or final report, the state government will take immediate action since the grants (Rs 6,000 crore) already reserved in the budget.

However, the MTFP has observed that a lion’s share of the state budget is allocated towards the committed expenditure, such as paying salaries, pensions and interest payments etc thus calling for urgent measures to improve the condition either by higher revenue mobilisation or by reducing the increasing expenditure on salaries and pensions.

“It is essential to reorient the staff pattern and staff size through the utilisation of technologies,” the report has recommended.

The report added that the implementation of the 7th pay (commission) scale for the state government employees would lead to a steep increase in salaries and pension and the additional implication of implementing it would cost the exchequer around Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 18,000 crore (per year) additionally.

The MTFP stated that the budget estimate of 2023-24 is pegged at Rs 68,491 crore for payment of salaries which is seen a whopping jump of Rs 28,977 crore and similarly, the total pension is pegged at Rs 26,980 crore in 2023-24 and it has seen a jump of Rs 11,871 crore since 2018-19.

“In 2018-19 salaries stood at Rs 39,514 crore and pension at Rs 15,109 crore,” the report has claimed.

The report has also highlighted that the expenditure on pension is estimated at 9.2% per cent while the salaries expenses account for 21% of revenue receipts respectively. “The spike in salary growth is mainly due to increasing recruitment and additional expenses on account of the 7th Pay Commission constituted by the state government,” the report explained

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Published 17 February 2023, 17:36 IST

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