Bhubaneswar: The state cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, here on Tuesday, accorded its approval to 8 proposals including the 7th Pay Commission, IOCL Tax Concession and Telecom Infrastructure Policy.

With the cabinet approval to the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission salary for the Odisha government employees and pensions, the notification for the same would be issued by this weekend. There is a hurry in notification as the state government has announced that the enhanced salary would be disbursed to the employees on September 26, just before the Puja holidays begins.

7Th Pay Commission 

The chief secretary, A P Padhi, while  briefing media persons about the cabinet decision, said that the implementation of revised pay scales would cost the government Rs4,500 crore annually. The burden this year would be Rs 2250 crore, he said budget provisions have been made for the expenditure.

Stating that the 7th Pay Commission recommendation has been adopted by the state government almost in toto, he said the arrears which would be to the tune of Rs7,500 crore would disbursed in due course.

About the contractual employees, he they will be getting a hike of around 25% on their existing salaries  besides  10% increment every year.

IOCL Tax Concession

Padhi said that the Cabinet has also accorded its approved to the revised agreement to be signed between the state government and the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) with regard tax relief to Paradip refinery.

“ As per the new agreement, the IOCL will deposit the entire VAT amount collected 100% with us every year and we will provide them with Rs 700 crore in four installments of Rs 175 crore every year as an incentive in the form of interest-free loan for 15 years. After 15 years this Rs 700 crore will be refunded to us them in annual four installments for next 15 years. As a result of the new agreement, we will have a cap of Rs 700 crore which was not there in the earlier MoU,” Padhi said. This has been done in line with concessions offered to refineries set up by PSUs at Bina, Bhatinda and Barmer around the same time, he added.

As per the earlier MoU with IOCL the state government was supposed to  provide the total VAT amount collected from its sales as interest-free loan to the latter for a period of 11 years which they would have repaid in installments.

Telecom Infrastructure Policy 2017

The Tuesday cabinet  also accorded its approval to the new Telecom Infrastructure Policy 2017. The new policy would now guide the setting up of mobile towers and laying of optical fiber cables in the state.

“ With this the government has  brought in a standardized policy as a result of which fees for such activities have been determined for different places like in government land, LWE affected areas, difficult areas etc. Maximum relaxation for fees in LWE affected areas. Permission for such activities will be given by the BDO in rural areas and by the officers of urban local bodies in urban areas. Committees have been constituted at district and state-level for reddressal  of grievances. While district-level committees will be headed by the district collector, the state-level committee will be headed by the IT secretary,” Padhi said.

Earlier the state government had no definite policy for setting up of mobile towers and laying of optical fibre cables by telecom companies. The Housing and Urban Development department had brought a policy on this for urban areas in 2013 but there was no such policy for rural areas.