7th Pay Commission: Will Government Approve Hike in Minimum Pay, Fitment Factor Before 2019 Lok Sabha Polls?
New Delhi, Jan 10: The recommendations of 7th Pay Commission on a hike in salary of central government employees was approved in June 2016. Since then the central government employees have been asking to raise minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. There had been reports that the government would approve a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission, but no such decision has been made so far. Will the government announce higher minimum pay shortly before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to gain political advantage?
The Lok Sabha elections are likely to be held in the first quarter of the year 2019. The government may use the approval for a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission as a vote-plucking tool for the central government employees.
If media reports are to be believed, the government is likely to form a high-level committee to fix new pay structure beyond the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission. The committee will submit its report in six months since its formation. However, no official statement has been made in this regard.
The further delay in approving a hike in minimum pay beyond the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission might help the government to save more money. Earlier, a source within central government employees’ union said the government deliberately delayed the hike in minimum pay and saved nearly 26,000 crores.
The government may delay the implementation of the higher minimum pay to save more money. Besides, the Lok Sabha last week passed a bill to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. The development may further delay the announcement of higher minimum pay.
The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a 14.27 percent hike in basic pay, raising minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 month. However, the central government employees have been asking to raise minimum pay to Rs 26,000 and fitment factor 3.68 times from 2.57 times, which was recommended by the 7th Pay Commission and approved by the Cabinet.