7th Pay Commission: Govt may asks its employees to invest part of increased salary in bonds
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government may ask its employees to invest part of their 7th Pay Commission salary hike in a fund which would be used for recapitalisation of state-owned banks. According to PTI sources, the government is looking at a scheme for the same.
High income government official, sources said, could be roped in to invest in the fund by offering lucrative incentives like tax break or higher return. As per the proposal, higher income government staff from the rank of Section Officer may be asked to shell out 50 per cent of increased salary towards bank capitalisation bonds.
Top officials of the Finance Ministry had preliminary discussion over the issue last week, sources said, adding that no decision has been taken yet.
The Committee of Secretaries is looking into the matter and various alternatives are being considered, they said.
This proposal is being considered to find more resources for recapitalisation of public sector banks which are saddled with gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of Rs 3.61 lakh crore at the end of December 2015, as against Rs 39,859 crore in the private sector.
Gross NPA ratio as percentage of advances rose to 7.30 per cent while for private banks, it stood at 2.36 per cent as of December-end. RBI has asked public sector banks to clean up balancesheets by March next year. Cleaning to books would require additional capital infusion than what has been envisage in the ‘Indradhanush’.
Last year, the government had announced a revamp plan ‘Indradhanush’ to infuse Rs 70,000 crore in state-owned banks over four years, while they will have to raise a further Rs 1.1 lakh crore from markets to meet their capital requirements in line with global risk norms Basel-III.
In line with the blueprint, PSU banks were given Rs 25,000 crore in the last fiscal and an equal amount is planned for the current fiscal. As per the plan, Rs 10,000 crore each would be infused in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
It is believed that the government provided as much as Rs 70,000 crore in the Union Budget 2016-17 for implementation of Seventh Pay Commission for 47 lakh government employees and 52 lakh pensioners.
While the Budget did not provide an explicit overall provision number, the government had said the 7th Pay Commission hike has been built in as interim allocation for different ministries and Budget numbers were credible.
The 7th Pay Commission’s report was published on November 19. An estimated 48 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners across the country receive the pay hike, which currently stands on Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.
With PTI Inputs