Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal used his thanks Giving Rally in Shimla as a possible dais to lure the over two lakh employees before the election as he announced a mid-term revised pay scale in the form of grade pay.

Taking a cue from his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, Dhumal announced the grade pay on the Punjab pattern. With the possibility of the model code of conduct being announced soon, the matter is likely to be placed before the Cabinet at the earliest so that a notification can be issued and if it pass through it will be a financial burden of over Rs 500 crore annually on the cash-strapped government.

It is only after the modalities are worked out and the Cabinet puts its stamp of approval that one would know whether the grade pay would be given from next month onwards or retrospectively.

With a total strength of 1.89 lakh regular employees in the state, it is 62,000 teachers in the Education Department and Class III and IV employees who will be the main beneficiaries of this announcement made with an eye on the poll.

The grant of grade pay was the biggest demand that employees were making. In fact employees had termed the grant of the long-pending demand of time scale of 4-9-14 as notional with no financial benefits. It is today’s announcement that will remove this grouse.