The government was committed to raising the minimum pay from Rs 18,000 per month, with the increase of fitment factor, under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s promise for hiking salaries of lower-level employees beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016.
There is a proposal under consideration for raising pay of lower-level central government employees upto the pay matrix level 5 from current fitment factor 2.57 to 3.00, but the central government employees unions are demanding for hike fitment factor 3.68 and minimum pay above the current Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000, a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, The 7th pay panel recommended minimum pay Rs 18,000 per month while the maximum pay from Rs 2.5 lakh, with a fitment factor of 2.57 times of basic pay of 6th pay commission uniformly for replacing the 6th pay commission pay scales, which was got cabinet nod on June 29, 2016.
A union leader said, it would help lower-level employees pay for necessities, where rising costs have long outpaced pay increases for the central government employees.
“The political parties have created a system where the government pays employees less but need them to spend more,” said the leader. “That causes middle-class families to fall down the economic ladder. It’s the reason our middle class is shrinking and the reason we are facing the largest gap between upper- and lower-income in India since Independence.”
The government formed the National Anomaly Committee (NAC) in September 2016 to resolve pay anomalies, following the promise of the Finance Minister Jaitley. The minimum pay Rs 21,000 with fitment factor 3.00 was likely to be given nod by the NAC in last year.
In the meantime, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued a letter on October 30, last year stating that the demand for increase in minimum Pay and fitment formula do not appear to be treated as anomaly, therefore, these do not come under the purview of NAC, which hurt the central government employees, and debate now continues on whether government should respect FM Jaitley’s promise of increasing pay for employees, the government official said.
He added, the government should not have broken FM Jaitley’s promise with respect to Parliament, it now falls the Finance Ministry, to make good on FM’s pay hike pledge, so the ministry is mulling to increase the pay of employees, who get salaries from pay matrix level 1 to 5, from April, ignoring the DoPT letter on October 30.