Proposal for 4th Saturday holiday to go before Cabinet

Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge had recently written to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, suggesting a five-day week for government employees instead, and a cut in the number of public holidays to compensate for the loss of one working day. (DH File Photo)

The recommendation of the 6th Pay Commission that the fourth Saturday every month be declared a holiday for government employees will be placed before the State Cabinet for consideration shortly.

The pay panel headed by retired IAS officer M R Srinivasa Murthy, in the second volume of its report submitted to the state government in May this year, has deliberated on suggestions for increasing productivity of employees and various departments.

Among the recommendations in the second volume is that the state government declare fourth Saturday a holiday, along with second Saturday for its employees.

Sources in the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) said the second volume of the report will be placed before the Cabinet on Thursday or at its next meeting. To compensate for the loss of working hours on the fourth Saturday, the pay commission has recommended that the working hours for government employees be increased by one hour every working day. At present, government employees work between 10.30 am to 5.30 pm.

If the Cabinet accepts the recommendation, the work hours will be extended till 6.30 pm. Besides, a few closed holidays declared by the government, especially on Jayantis including Ambedkar Jayanti, Mahaveer Jayanti, Valmiki Jayanti, Kanakadasa Jayanti and Basava Jayanti may be converted into restricted holidays. In 2018, there are 25 general holidays for government employees.

However, the Karnataka State Government Employees Association, while accepting the fourth Saturday holiday proposal, does not want the working hours to be extended.

Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge had recently written to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, suggesting a five-day week for government employees instead, and a cut in the number of public holidays to compensate for the loss of one working day.

Speaking to DH, Kharge said government employees do work hard and could do  good if they get a break for the weekend.

“Many people are under the impression that government employees have nothing much to do. But that is not so. Government work does not happen by magic,” Kharge said.

The minister said that it was ironic that holiday was declared to celebrate the birth anniversaries of those who celebrated work all their life.

“We all follow the ideals of Basavanna. He advocated kayalave kailasa (work is worship). It is ironic that a holiday is declared to celebrate his birth anniversary. It can be converted into a restricted holiday, allowing employees to avail the same as per their requirement,” Kharge said. 

Sources said a cabinet sub-committee is likely to be constituted to study the recommendations of the Pay Commission in its second volume.

In volume one, the report had recommended a 30% hike in basic salary for government employees, including pensioners. These recommendations have already been implemented by the government.

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Proposal for 4th Saturday holiday to go before Cabinet

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