The Union Ministry of Finance has decided to revise the pay scale of the government pharmacists with an upgradation in their grade, following recommendation from the Fast Track Committee assigned to look after the demands made on the Sixth Central Commission.
According to the recommendation of the committee, the entry grade of pharmacists in central government would remain at a grade pay of Rs 2800 in the pay band PB1 even as all the incumbents would be granted non functional upgradation in the next higher grade having grade pay of Rs 4200 in the pay band PB2, on completion of two years' service in the entry grade.
The pharmacist grade one and two will be merged and designated as pharmacist (non-functional grade). The designation will be granted to the entry level pharmacists on completion of two years of service, according to the official memorandum issued by the Department of Expenditure (Implementation Cell), Ministry of Finance.
The decision is to implement the new pay scale with effect from January 1, 2006, and all the pharmacists who are under service from the said date would soon get the arrears on this account.
The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), the statutory body regulating the pharmacy education and profession in India, applauded the move to upgrade the pharmacists to the pay band PB2. The PCI has extended demand to revise and upgrade the pay scale of government pharmacists with the Sixth Control Pay Commission. However, the PCI's request to eliminate entry grade post, which is the lowest in the pay scale, and to provide better grade for the freshly appointed pharmacists is not accepted by the committee.
“The upgradation of pharmacists after two years service to pay band PB2 is something more than our expectation. We are happy that the government has extended such a support. For our demand to remove the entry grade from the post of pharmacists, we will be submitting our representations to the government soon,” said Dr B Suresh, president, PCI. The council will submit the recommendation to the anomalies committee requesting action in the Sixth Pay Commission implementation itself, he added.
The pay scale for entry grade pharmacists were Rs 1500 to 2000 while the grade two pharmacist had a pay scale of Rs 5000 to 8000 as grade pay till now. The grade one pharmacist had a pay scale of Rs 5500 to 9000.