The civil service in a large part of the world still guarantees the security of jobs over the full working life. The salaries of the government employees in Pakistan 2024 are given as under in this post. And this is highly valued by the employees especially in developing countries where employment opportunities are scarce. The salary structure of the civil service deserves special attention because it determines the quality of personal hired. While many other factors also affect the performance of the employees, the financial rewards have a strong bearing on the motivation and performance of the staff. This is particularly so considering the ever-widening gap between the wages of the public and the private sectors in most of the developing countries. In Pakistan, independent pay commissions headed by senior retired civil servants have always fixed the pay scales. The first pay commission of 1948-49 rejected the colonial wage structure because of wide divergence in the pay scales of high-paid British officials and the lower-grade local officers. It recommended a judicious salary structure. The commission prescribed a living wage (undefined) for the low-paid employees and advised conservatism and wage restraint for the remaining categories. The commission also ruled that men of genius belonged to the private sector and not the public sector. The government however disassociated itself from this viewpoint and the next pay commission of 1970 strongly emphasized the need to provide adequate compensation and due recognition as incentives for persons of the highest caliber to seek employment in the public sector.2 Later the commission also recommended further rationalization of salary structures. The pay commission of 1972 eventually compressed the 650 pay scales to 22 national pay scales. The subsequent pay commissions of 1977, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1994, 2001, and 2005 have continued with these twenty-two scales with the declared objective of narrowing the gap between the highest-paid and the lowest paid. However, this gap remains fixed at 1:9 for the last four salary revisions between 1991 and 2005. This coupled with low real wages, an increasing trend towards contract employment, and no motivation to excel makes government employment least attractive compared to the private sector.

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Determination of Basic Minimum Salary Of Government Employees In 2024

Pay Commissions in determining the pay structure fixes the minimum wage as a reference point for the pays and salaries of the other government employees. The minimum wages may be ascertained in a number of ways.5

  • Firstly, the minimum wages of the government employees may be fixed by taking into consideration the market wages of the unskilled workers. However, because the market wage rate is itself influenced by the wages set by the government, such an approach is not very useful. Besides, market wages may or may not be sufficiently high to provide for the basic necessities of the workers. In view of the social dimension of the wage rate structure to which the government is committed, such an approach does not seem to be very appropriate.
  • Secondly, the proposed minimum wages in the new pay structure may be no less than the wages sufficient to purchase the bundle of goods and services which the least paid employees could buy at the time minimum wages were fixed in the previous pay scales. Such an approach implies that nominal wages are adjusted upwards by the rate of inflation over the intervening period.
  • Thirdly, the minimum wages may be set at a level that does not result in a deterioration in the economic position of the least paid employee in society. In order to ensure that, real wages must be increased at a rate equaling to the increase in productivity. Accordingly, the nominal wages have to be adjusted for both the inflation rate as well as the gains in productivity.
  • Fourthly, the minimum wages are set in such a way that the expenditure on food out of the income, in accordance with the preference of the consumer for food and non-food consumption, is sufficient to meet the caloric requirements. This approach implies that minimum wages should be at least sufficient to provide for basic needs.

Length of the Pay Scales Of Government Employees In 2024

The length of the pay scales refers to the number of stages (number of increments to be earned) to reach the maximum of the scale as shown in Table 1. The distribution of the stages between the gazetted and non-gazetted scales is biased in favor of higher grades. Compared to the nineties, these stages have doubled from 15 to 30 for grades 1 to16. For grades 17 to 19 the stages are increased by more than half (12 to 20 stages), and for grades 20 to 22 they have increased by less than half (10 to14 stages) since 2001.

These extremely long pay scales have their pros and cons: they are undesirable because they are both inefficient and uneconomic. The inefficiency arises due to unhindered payment of increments to all irrespective of their work input. This rules out the difference between efficient and non-efficient workers, hence there is no incentive to perform. They are uneconomical because inefficient employees continue to receive increments until they reach the maximum of the scale. The lengthy scales are desirable compared to the shorter scales only because the latter would require rapid promotions. In other words, the limited availability of posts on each scale, or the prospects for promotion would affect the length of the scale. Lengthy pay scales are indeed a very regressive feature of the civil service salary structure. An employee stuck on the same job for 15 to 30 years earning annual increments only, with no prospects of improvement in his living insight is bound to lose all motivation to work over the coming years

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salary scales should overlap? Scales overlap when the maximum of one scale is higher than the minimum of the next higher scale(s). In the advanced industrialized countries, civil service salary scales do not overlap by more than two higher scales. In Pakistan however, overlapping of grades is a serious issue as shown in Table 2 below.

Increments In The Salaries Of Government Employees 2024

In the civil services of the developed countries, an increment is always “earned” by way of crossing some efficiency bar. In Pakistan, until 1981 an efficiency bar always had to be crossed in the form of a satisfactory special report on performance to receive the larger sum (see Appendix Table III). The 1983 Pay Commission observed that the efficiency bars were crossed almost automatically and hence were discarded. This automatic grant of the increments without consideration to performance would obviously have adverse effects on motivation and efficiency compared to when it is “earned”. The lengthy pay scales and extreme overlapping, with continued payments of increments, results in a decline in efficiency and disincentives to be a productive worker. A rational choice would have been to ensure the enforcement, rather than the abolition of the clause of the efficiency bar.


The accommodation facility/allowance provided to the federal government employees falls into three categories: (i) those who make their own living arrangements instead of renting a house on government account, they receive fifty percent of the basic salary as housing subsidy; (ii) those who requisite houses in the open market at the official rental ceiling; and (iii) those who are provided government accommodation. The last two categories pay 5 percent of gross salary as house rent recovery (or partial tax on the allowance) that also provides towards the maintenance of houses on government account.8 All categories of this allowance are highly valued by the employees. However, it is important to note that employees hiring houses in the open market face serious hardships due to the failure of the government to impose rent control in the federal capital. In Table 3, we see that house rents have been increased before or after each salary revision. However, grades up to 18 have been lumped into six groups for the allocation of house rent. The rationale behind this policy is not known, but it raises a serious anomaly: the higher salary results in lower house rent entitlement up to grade 18 (see section c of the table). This erosion has serious implications for the very poor households in the lower grades, indeed it looks very awkward even for grades seventeen and eighteen as shown in Figure 3. Although house rent is the most valuable cash allowance for employees renting houses, this facility pales in comparison to physical government housing. It is rather awkward if we compare a secretary renting his own house or a portion in any house at the official entitlement in Islamabad (that is what one can get at the market rate), with a colleague living in government-built accommodation. While the former gets monthly house rent amounting to Rs 16,962 the government accommodation carries an imputed rental value of more than Rs 100,000 since it is independent occupancy, is built on a larger space, and has all amenities like servant quarters, porch, modern kitchen facilities etc. Furthermore, it is an open secret that many people in top positions live in government housing while their own houses (generally in the name of spouses) are rented out at market rates.


Whether an employee owns a vehicle or not all employees up to grade 20 are paid conveyance allowance in cash while the two highest grades are provided fully maintained staff cars for official and private use. For the purpose of this study, it is assumed that all employees below grade 18 do not maintain a car. Therefore the employees in grades 18-20 receive a car maintenance allowance. The absolute amounts of conveyance allowance, its rate of increase over time, and the allowance as a percentage of basic salary for all grades are reported in Table 4 (a, b, c). The employees up to grade 19 are lumped into five broad groups for the payment of conveyance allowance. Therefore as in the case of house rent, when calculated as a percent of the basic salary this practice results in losses to employees of higher grades. The loss is particularly more pronounced between grades 16 to 20. This practice of lumping grades for house rent and conveyance allowances is rather ambiguous.

Grade-specific Allowances For Government Employees 2024

The grade-specific allowances include washing allowance for employees in Grades 1 to 4; and entertainment allowance, senior post allowance, and orderly allowance for Grades 20 to 22. Washing Allowance is granted for the maintenance of the uniform provided to the employees. This allowance has increased from Rs 65.00 in 1990-91 to Rs 85 in 1994 and finally to Rs 150 in 2005

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