An overview

The State of Kerala came into existence on 01.11.1956. Since then nine Pay Revision Commissions/Committees have been appointed by the Government for revising the pay of Government employees/teachers. Each of these Commissions has left its imprint in one way or the other. A brief survey of each of these Commissions may be seen below.

Soon after the formation of the State of Kerala, the Government constituted a Commission in 1957, which was primarily entrusted with the duty of unification of the scales of pay of the employees of the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin State and the Malabar district of former Madras State. The Commission was headed by Sri. Sankara Narayana Iyer. Order was issued in G.O (P) No: 150/1958/Fin dated 23.03.1958 implementing the recommendations of the Commission.

First Pay Revision Commission

A Pay Commission in its absolute sense came into force in the year 1965. The Commission appointed as per G.O (P) No: 74/65/Fin dated 27.02.1965 is considered as the first Pay Commission in the State of Kerala. It was headed by Sri K.M Unnithan ICS (Rtd) and Sri P.S Nataraja Pillai and Dr. E.K Madhavan as members. The main objective of the Commission was to bring down the disparities that existed between the scales of pay of employees of Madras State with that of Kerala. The Commission followed the pattern of Madras State scale as a basis for evolving new scales to the extent possible taking into account the prescribed minimum qualification, nature of duties and responsibilities and prospects of promotion. The Government implemented the recommendations of the Commission with certain changes. The changes made by Government led to the lowering the higher scales and improvement in the scales of pay of last grade and low paid employees, village staff and teachers when compared with those in Madras.

Second Pay Revision Commission

The second Pay Revision Commission was appointed with Sri V.K Velayudhan as Chairman and Sri. T.K Balakrishna Menon as Member and Sri V Ramachandran IAS as Member Secretary. The Commission was of the objective that the resultant pay hike should not cast heavy burden on the State Exchequer. Important recommendations include the hike of Rs.5/- for the first four lower scales and Rs.7/- for the higher scales. The revised scales of pay came into effect from 01.07.1968 and was implemented through G.O (P) No: 290/1969/Fin dated 09.06.1969. The 'birthday' of Pay Revision was hence forth accepted as 1st of July from this pay revision onwards.

In the year 1973 the third Central Pay Commission was about to submit its report and the Government of Kerala decided to adopt the pattern of Central Pay Commission in the State also. A sub committee comprising of Council of Ministers and a Special Officer was formulated. The subcommittee presented its report in April 1973. One of the significant recommendations which was accepted by Government was minimum pay of Rs.196/- as in Central Government. Along with basic pay, personal pay and dearness allowance as on 31.04.1973 the commission recommended an adhoc increase and one increment for every seven years subject to a maximum of three increments. Minimum benefit was fixed as Rs.15/- and maximum as Rs.50/-. This revision formed the basis for adopting DA on the Central pattern allowing one instalment of DA for every 8 points increase over and above 200 points of AICPI (All India Consumer Price Index) treated as merged with pay.

Third Pay Revision Commission

The third pay revision commission came into force in September 1977 with Sri. N. Chandrabhanu IAS, former Chief Secretary as single member Commission. The significant contributions of the Commission include the merging of DA (272 points) as on 01.04.1975, and a weightage of one increment for every completed ten years service subject to a maximum of two increments. The minimum benefit was limited to Rs.50/-.The Commission had formulated 32 numbers of scales of pay as against the then existing 37 scales of pay and submitted its report in September 1978.Time Bound Higher Grade Promotion was introduced after the issue of the third pay revision orders. Government implemented the third pay commission recommendations through G.O (P) No: 860/1978/Fin dated 16.12.1978.

Fourth Pay Revision Commission

Justice V.P Goplan Nambiar was chosen to Chair the fourth pay revision commission. The commission's strategy on evaluating various jobs on the basis of minimum educational qualification required at entry level was accepted. Those professionals who have undergone courses which were longer in duration were placed at higher level. The commission suggested merging DA (488 points) as on 01.05.1983. Fitment benefit was fixed at half percentage for each completed years subject to a maximum of 15%. Minimum benefit was fixed at Rs.50/- and maximum at Rs.150/-. Time Bound Higher Grade Promotion was revised by introducing a second time bound higher grade on completion of 20 years of service/ on completion of 10 years of service in the first promoted post. The new pay revision order was implemented through G.O(P) No:515/1985/Fin dated 16.09.1985.

Fifth Pay Revision Commission

The fifth pay revision commission was appointed by government in December 1987 headed by Justice T. Chandrasekhara Menon. The Commission submitted its report in May 1989. The number of pay scales was revised to 27 and a master scale was introduced. Important recommendations of the Commission include fitment benefit of 1/3% for every completed years of service subject to a maximum of 10%. Minimum benefit was fixed at Rs.60/- and maximum at Rs.250/-. Time Bound Higher Grade Promotion was further liberalized as 3 i.e., 10, 20, and 25 years. The Government implemented the recommendations in G.O (P) No: 489/1989/Fin dated 01.11.1989.

Pay Equalization Committee (Sixth PRC)

The Government in January 1992 appointed a Pay Equalization Committee comprising of Sri Zachariah Mathew IAS, as Chairman, Sri R Narayanan IAS, Sri M Mohan Kumar IAS and Sri V Krishnamoorthy as Members. The Commission was entrusted with the task of determining the comparability of posts under the State Government with those under Central Government, and to suggest modifications as might become necessary for deciding the new pay scales based on Central rates. The Committe recommended a seven percent increase subject to a minimum of Rs.75/- and maximum of Rs.250/- and bunching benefit. No merging of Dearness Allowance was recommended. Another significant proposal was the reduction of Earned Leave to 15 days. Government implemented the recommendations through G.O (P) No: 600/1993/Fin dated 25.11.1993.

Seventh Pay Revision Commission

The seventh pay revision commission was constituted with Sri. P.M Abraham IAS (Rtd) as Chairman, Dr. K.Ramachandran Nair as Member and Sri K.G Sukumara Pillai as Member Secretary. While formulating the revised pay structure, the Commission had broadly analyzed the factors governing the fixation of minimum salary and the factors governing fixation of maximum salary apart from other general principles. Major recommendations include merging of DA (1510 points) as on 01.01.1996, fitment benefit of 10% with 1% for every completed years of service subject to a maximum of 20 % and a minimum benefit of Rs.250/-. The Commission also suggested Time Bound Higher Grade Promotion at 10, 18 and 23 years of service, with a provision to allow a second higher grade on completion of eight years of service in the promoted post. A fourth time bound higher grade was recommended to class IV employees on completion of 30 years of service. Government implemented the recommendations of the Commission through G.O (P) No: 3000/1998/Fin dated 25.11.1998. The seventh pay commission had its date of effect from 01.03.1997.

Eighth Pay Revision Commission

Sri R. Narayanan IAS (Rtd) was the Chairman of the Eighth Pay Revision Commission. Sri C.M Radhakrishnan Nair IPS (Rtd) and Sri. A.K Thomas were Members and Smt. Chandramathy Amma was the Member Secretary.6% of existing pay was recommended as fitment benefit subject to a minimum benefit of Rs.350/-. According to the terms of reference, the commission was required to submit its views regarding the need to give interim relief to the employees. Accordingly the Commission in its interim report dated 05.08.2005 had suggested 3 options on the rate of interim relief. Government accepted the recommendations for giving a flat rate of Rs.300/p.m for all regular employees choosing the option involving minimum financial commitment. In the case of pensioners and family pensioners the interim relief was Rs.175/- and Rs.100/- respectively. A Master Scale was introduced in the 8th pay revision. Other major recommendations include merging of Dearness Allowance (59%) as on 01.07.2003.Weightage of one increment for every completed 4 years, subject to a maximum of four increments in the revised scale. Time Bound Higher Grade Promotion at 8, 16, and 23 years of service and a fourth to Class IV employees on completion of 28 years of service. The provision to allow second time bound higher grade promotion on completion of 8 years of service in the promoted post has been discontinued in the eighth pay revision. Government issued orders in G.O (P) No: 145/2006/Fin dated 25.03.2006.

Ninth Pay Revision Commission

The Ninth Pay Revision Commission was headed by Justice R. Rajendra Babu. Dr. P Mohanan Pillai and Adv P.V Venugopalan Nair were the Members. The commission recommended a fitment benefit of 10% to all employees subject to a minimum of Rs.1000/-. Service weightage of ½% for each completed years of service, subject to maximum of 15%. Dearness Allowance (64%) as on 01.07.2009 was merged. For the first time, Part-time contingent employees were allotted time scales of pay. The Commission recommended further liberalization of Time Bound Higher Grade Promotion by rescheduling the completed years as 8, 15, 22 and 27 years of service to employees upto the scale of Rs.9940-16580. This benefit has been extended to Civil Police Officers (Police Constables) too. The Commission's recommendation to introduce Paternity Leave of 10 days was also accepted by Government. The orders on these recommendations were issued by Government in G.O (P) No: 85/2011/Fin dated 26.02.2011.

Tenth Pay Revision Commission

The 10th Pay Revision Commission was appointed by the Government of Kerala by G.O(Ms)No.583/2013/Fin dated 30.11.2013. The Chairman of the three member Commission was Justice C.N Ramachandran Nair, former Judge and Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala. Adv. T.V George, Lawyer, the High Court of Kerala and Sri. K.V Thomas, former Additional Secretary (Finance) and Director of Treasuries were the other members. Sri. K.V Thomas was also the Secretary of the Commission. The Commission recommended a Master Scale and 27 revised scales of pay as in the previous Pay Revision. The Commission recommended a minimum increment of Rs.500/- and a maximum increment of Rs.2400/-. The minimum pay recommended by Commission was Rs.17,000/- and maximum of Rs. 1,20,000/-. It recommended for a fitment benefit of 12% of the existing basic pay subject to a minimum of Rs.2000/- and service weightage at 1/2% per completed year of service subject to a maximum of 15%. The amount of fitment benefit and service weightage taken together should not exceed 12,000/-. The Commission has arrived at the new scales by neutralising DA at 80% as on 01.07.2014. The Commission recommended that the Pay Revision shall come into force with effect from 01.07.2014 and pay for employees shall stand shifted to the new scales from the date of implementation itself. Thus the Commission chose not to allow Option to elect a date to come over to the Revised Pay Scales. But increments in the revised scale were allowed on due dates as if one had continued in the pre revised scale.

Similar recommendations were made in respect of University employees, High Court employees and those of the Kerala Water Authority.

The 8th Pay Revision Commission had recommended Option facility (Option (a) or Option (b)) for fixation benefits consequent to promotion; but the 10th Pay Commission recommended the reinstatement of Rule 28 A Part I KSRs as existed prior to 2006 Pay Revision, so that the promotee will get initial fixation and refixation of pay.

The Government accepted the recommendations of the Commission with slight modifications in Scales of Pay. The Government lowered minimum pay to Rs.16,500/- against the recommendation for Rs.17,000/-. Similarly all the 27 scales recommended by the Commission were restructured with lower minima.