Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bangalore is now A-1 city

Bangalore is now A-1 city

Bangalore: After a long wait, largely due to state government’s delay, Bangalore got the ‘A-1’ class status on Monday. The Centre in an order, said the new status will be applicable to Bangalore with retrospective effect from July 1, 2006. It will mean the House Rent Allowance (HRA) of central and state government employees going up from the present 15% of their basic salary to 30%, while the hike in City Compensatory Allowance (CCA) is meagre.
Though Bangalore and Hyderabad became qualified for the A-1 status in 2006 with more areas being added to their corporations’ jurisdiction, Hyderabad got the tag on August 30. Greater Bangalore now joins the elite clique of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata as A-1 city.
Hitherto, Bangalore was classified as ‘A’ class, but had qualified for the upgradation (A-1), which stipulates the population should be above 50 lakh. With the merger of seven city municipal councils, one town panchayat and 110 villages, the population has gone up to 57,99,613 from the previous 43,01,326, while the extent of area went up from 226 sq km to 757.92 sq km.
Speaking to The Times of India, Karnataka State Government Employees’ Association president L Byrappa said while his central government counterparts would get the benefits immediately, the notification had to go before the state cabinet for approval.
“We will ask the government to expedite the process. The minimum basic salary of a state government employee is Rs 4,800 per month. With the HRA going up exponentially, it will benefit us a lot,’’ he added.
Touch of class
5.32 lakh Karnataka and over 51,950 central government undertakings employees benefit.
HRA will increase from 15% to 30% of their basic salaries.
CCA (15% for both sectors now) will be meagre.
It entitles Karnataka for higher grants from Centre for various schemes.


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