Kerala mulls pay hike for All-India Service officers in the state

Thiruvananthapuram: All-India Service officers in Kerala are likely to get a salary hike as the state government seeks to address their grouse against the high basic pay envisaged for the personnel of the all-new Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) which came into existence one month ago. The officers of the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service have been mounting pressure on the state government for increasing their pay and have decided to resort to non-cooperation tactics in a bid to achieve their demand.

The All India Services comprises three civil services: the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS).

A few days earlier the Kerala Cabinet decided to fix Rs 81,800 as basic pay for KAS personnel bypassing the finance department's recommendation that it should be fixed at Rs 51,600. However, this recommendation was overturned because of political intervention from the highest level.

The IAS Officers' Association claimed that if KAS officers draw higher salary than their junior officers it would lead to arguments over powers of the officials. To resolve this issue, IAS Officers Association secretary M G Rajamanickam gave a letter to the Chief Secretary on Friday demanding a hike of Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 for the IAS officers.

The Association has demanded a special pay of Rs 25,000 for junior-time scale officers and Rs 10,000 for officers of senior time scale and junior administrative grade. This should be paid for the first nine years and each year the amount should be revised.

The disparity in pay structure would upset administrative equations, and hence the government should make a comparative analysis of AIS and KAS salary scale, the IAS association demanded.

IPS Association secretary Harshita Attaluri, too, demanded the government to review the decision, saying its implementation would cause difficulties in the district administrative hierarchy. The IFS association also pointed out the same reason while opposing the Cabinet decision.

The All-India Service (AIS) officials' associations even demanded the Kerala government to reconsider the Cabinet decision fixing Rs 81,800 as the basic pay of the KAS officials. The IPS Officers' Association and the Kerala chapter of IAS and IFS officials' associations raised the demand in separate letters to the state government.

The move to grant high salaries to both KAS and All-India Service officers is set to dent the Kerala coffers.

What is KAS?
The Kerala Administrative Service, which has been formed on the lines of the Indian Administrative Service, came into existence from November 1. The Public Service Commission handed over the appointment advice memo to 105 recruits. The posting under KAS is considered as a feeder category for the IAS. Once proved mettle, the KAS officers can get into the IAS cadre after the completion of 10 years of service.

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