Implementation of separate pay scales for Bangladesh Bank and three state-owned commercial banks (SOBs) is facing a setback due to a fresh bureaucratic scrutiny.
The secretaries’ committee, responsible for examining the proposal and recommend the government, during last three months sought different information about salaries and allowances the employees of the banks currently enjoy.
In a latest move, the eight-member committee with cabinet secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan as its convenor has asked for information on car and house/land purchase loans by the employees as the employing banks pay the tax against the loans, officials said.
It also asked for information on how Bangladesh Bank, Sonali, Janata and Agrani banks pay the lunch and iftar allowances to their employees.
Authorities have already spent three months from an instruction by high government authorities to promptly finalise recommendation for the separate pay scales for the bankers, according to sources at the Banking & Financial Institutions Division of finance ministry.
Officials alleged that asking for the new information is nothing but a strategy to delay the process as they made an assessment on the salaries and allowances two years back. They urged the cabinet division to expedite the process, said one of them, requesting anonymity.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith in January this year had asked the authorities concerned to implement the pay scales within June. He had also directed the cabinet division to complete the task by the month.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier approved specific guidelines for the separate pay scales.
As per the guidelines, the new salaries and bonuses for the bankers must be market-based and attractive. It would be different from those of the government officials. The existing salaries and other perks of the employees concerned would not be affected when the separate scales would come into effect.
But, the employees will not be entitled to lunch or other entertainment allowances while maintenance allowance for houses will be included under the head of house allowance. Conveyance and entertainment allowances will be given to all categories of employees concerned.
Health allowance will be included under the head of expenses for medicine and education and it will be limited to only for two children up to the age of 21 in case of the members of the lower-level staff.
Currently, the SOBs employ nearly 90,000 people and Bangladesh Bank around 6,000.
Previously, the finance minister had proposed the pay scales for the bankers with an increase in the basic pay ranging from 6% to 62%.
The highest gross salary of a general manager would have been Tk64,000 per month as per the proposal.
Bangladesh Bank and the state-owned banks, however, demanded a hike up to 80% in the basic pay.