Pay rise is the biggest sabotage for the government01 February 2016 Editorial Desk
What started as the government's appeasement of bureaucrats to buy their loyalty appears to be a biggest financial sabotage to the government. It is unthinkable for any responsible government to think it rational to give government employees double pay rise by one stroke. Now everybody working in the public service wants to be satisfied by equal pay rise. Even the private sector employees feel encouraged to go for pay rise.The government has hiked the salary of the public servants making the administrative and foreign service cadre officers top beneficiaries doubling their pay and perks. But 26 other BCS cadre services trailing behind them are now calling for an end to such anomalies. They have threatened agitation. But strike by government officers belonging to almost all cadres except few means the entire administration will become dysfunctional that the government could not foresee.News report said the Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office Mr Abul Kalam Azad met 26 cadre officers' representatives on Thursday and assured them the government will do everything to meet their demands. What started as pay hike now led to a long process to reform the organizational structures of the services to introduce a permanent system for promotions; which would also determine eligibility of higher pay. And to many it would open the pandora box of agitation by different professional groups to make it very difficult for the government to contain it. A settled service system is going for unsettling the entire administration. Most significant is that AFM Bahauddin Nasim, who is convenor of the 26 cadre services and also an organizing secretary of Awami League and a lawmaker, is fighting the cause of the cadre officers. They want removal of administrative cadre officers from their higher posts. His role as leader of the cadre services gives the impression that the government is facing challenges even from its own people. Every professional group is now after attaining double pay and perks and higher status right from the President to Prime Minister, Speaker of parliament, ministers and lawmakers. The deprived are only those who are outside the government and not covered by the national pay scale. Government money is now meant for government leaders and its servants but its cascading affects are poised to destabilize the entire economy and cause severe suffering to common people. However, it appears that the government is not bothered whether or not the country's financial condition can sustain such pressure. Most important is that the service reorganization, which the government is going to take, is also bound to intensify fight for group interest to destabilize public institutions. Many fear that the government move to amend the Upazila Act to make the Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNOs) as the chief executives of the upazilas may draw flank from elected Upazila Chairman. What appears is that the anomalies what started with the eighth pay scale is now sending waves of destabilization at all level. The government is now ready to give eighth grade to all cadre officers at entry level; which was limited to administrative and foreign service cadres and few others under the new pay scale. But professional groups are demanding more like restoration of the time scale and selection grade denied to them under the new pay scale. Government college teachers only recently observed a three-day strike to get their previous benefits restored while the public university teachers' recent strike immobilized all higher educational institutions. They are angry for degradation of their pay and status. Teachers of the non-government schools have meanwhile raised tuition fees from 11 percent to 100 percent to match their financial benefits with teachers of the government paid schools. Guardians are agitating on the other hand demanding scraping of the new tuition fees creating a mess at primary education level. A committee set up by education ministry has suggested that tuition fees need to be raised but to what extent it will be raised will be decided by the government. What appears is that the rise in pay of the government servants appears to be the biggest sabotage that the government is forced to deal with.The government is being kept in the dark that some privileged sections don't want the people are well looked after ignoring the economic crisis for the general public. It is dangerous for any government to look too selfish when the people suffer economic mismanagement. The pay rise crisis is not going to disappear so easily.