7th Pay Commission: After DA, Employees Now In Wait For Pay Hike
The central government on March 15 increased Dearness Allowance (DA) to 7 per cent from 5 per cent effective from 1 January, 2018, benefiting 48 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners, in a bid to ease the inflationary pressure but hike in pay is pending with the government.
All eyes of the employees are now on Finance Ministry, which will take a final decision in pay hike beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
However, in a written reply to a question on pay hike in Rajya Sabha recently, Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan said the government was not now considering hike in pay and fitment factor but the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016, “The minimum pay Rs 18,000 was made on recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. But government will consider hiking it after discussions with all stakeholders.”
The Finance Ministry official involved with the process of pay hike told The Sen Times on condition of anonymity, “The government is certainly looking at pay hike, and the FM Jaitley takes seriously his promise in Rajya Sabha to be fiscally responsible.”
The official added, the increasing of Dearness Allowance (DA) of central government employees is not helpful for maintaining their living standard.
He also said pay hike beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations should implement which would give employees some financial comfort, a step, he hopes might be taken shortly.
Finance Ministry is mulling to increase the pay of employees, who get salaries from pay matrix level 1 to 5 but the decision may not be taken now because of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley illness, the official told us.
Jaitley, who is currently being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi for a kidney ailment, would attend the Ministry, after recovering from illness.
“The works of the Finance Ministry get badly affected without FM Jaitley. However, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) directly oversees only the critical matters of the Finance Ministry and not routine works till Jaitley recovers completely,” the official said.
The central government employees should wait for pay hike till Jaitley’s recovery. However, alternative arrangements are likely to be worked out if his surgery is carried out especially since post-transplant surgery recovery would require him to remain in a sanitised environment.
Earlier, The 7th pay panel recommended minimum pay Rs 18,000 per month 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.
The central government employees unions had claimed that the approved pay hike was the lowest in the last 70 years and they had threatened to go on an indefinite strike on July 11, 2016 over hike in pay with 3.68 fitment factor.
Finance Minister Jaitley had made promise to pay hike beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations on June 30, 2016. Accordingly, the unions had called off their indefinite strike. Jaitley had reiterated his promise in Rajya Sabha also.
After a lapse of almost two years of Jaitley’s promise for pay hike, which haven’t been seen evident till now, so delay in announcing pay hike raise questions on government credibility in the eyes of the employees. Hence the employees wish Jaitley a speedy recovery.