Uniform pay-policy needed

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It refers to the media-reports that the central government is considering idea of fixation of salaries of Central Information Commissioners to be left with the governments rather than their being at par with those of Election Commissioners having these equivalents with Supreme Court judges. Whole system of fixation of salaries and pensions of Central Information Commissioners is faulty, irrational and unequal. While Central Information Commissioners coming from IAS background are getting pensions from their parent cadres in addition to some nominal amount received from Central Information Commissioners, those not having any previous service get a meagre amount like Shailesh Gandhi having just Rs 10,808 per month as pension. There are others who get either much less or nil pension from their earlier assignments. All Central Information Commissioners should get pay-package and post-retirement benefits equivalent to those of highest paid bureaucrat of the country. Since Central Information Commissioners decide cases including also of all constitutional bodies, Central Information Commission should also be considered having constitutional status.

Rather this formula should be applicable to all high posts including for President, Vice President, Chief Justices and judges of Supreme Court and High Courts abolishing fixation of their salaries and post-retirement benefits fixed separately by Parliamentary legislation. It is highly unethical and totally undesirable that persons on such named posts get extra-high salaries and post-retirement benefits much higher to highest paid salary-scale fixed by pay-commissions especially when they avail all facilities at public-expense and have enough savings out of their earlier assignments and professions with their children and grand-children very well settled. Even Supreme Court judges misused their power when they gifted themselves life-time domestic help at public expense even for their spouses.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)