New national pay scale
Public servants are about to see their salaries doubled across the board. We are all for an increase in the pay of public servants given the increase in cost of living we have witnessed over the past few years. Yet, we cannot but stress that there has to be a concomitant increase in the efficiency level of the government machinery. The citizens would like to see better service delivery and greater professionalism from the civil servants now that they are being taken care of properly in terms of financial emoluments.
The revised pay for the bureaucracy is going to cost the national exchequer an additional Tk 15,904 crore this year. From the next fiscal it will add a further Tk 23,828 crore as the new bonus will come into effect. While the new scale amply covers financial security of government officials, it would be heartening to see greater accountability to the general public as well as proper evaluation of their performance.
Some economists believe that the pay hike is justified given the inflationary pressure on the economy, but it is important to keep tabs on the customary rise in house rent and other commodity prices whenever a new pay scale comes into effect. Unless this unnatural phenomenon is checked, the new pay scale will have little value to the recipients. We look forward to an increase in productivity among public officials in the foreseeable future which has not been forthcoming as the public service cadre has seen quality compromised due to nepotism and politicisation at the cost of professionalism.