Published On: Mon, Feb 26th, 2018

7th Pay Commission: Pay finally starting to rise, but not for middle-level employees

New Delhi: Ajay Sharma is pleased enough when government is likely to bump up his pay this year by fitment factor 3.00 times instead of 2.57 times of basic pay of 6th pay commission.

Did the FM lie to Parliament? Perhaps not. He is a great FM, but Jaitley will prefer to pick and choose lower-level employees and pay hike accordingly.

Sharma, a clerical employee of Income Tax Department, is a beneficiary of getting the salary with a fitment factor of 2.57 times of basic pay of 6th pay commission on the recommendation of the 7th pay panel. But he does not have proper salary to manage the monthly expenses for his family, so thankful as he will for the raise, the 52-year-old father of two says it’s still a hand-to-mouth existence for his family.

“We don’t have money to save to put into the bank. Everything is gone,” said another lower-level employee.

Salaries for all central government employees last grew at a 14.27 percent in the basic pay, the most since 2016. That has not fueled hopes for employees.

But pay now will gain thus far is very uneven, according to a senior Finance Ministry official. The government concentrated at the higher end of the pay scale and the lower — well-paid top officials at one end, employees such as Sharma at the other.

By and large, the broad middle-level employees will not see much of a raise, mirroring a long-running trend of income polarization and a shrinking middle-level employees in the central government departments.

It is important to add, on 12 February, the finance ministry had directed the merger of all Group B officers with Group C staff cadres of all Directorates under Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), in a first-ever order to merge the officers with staff cadres. This shows that the government wants to shrink the middle-level employees.

The official said who on condition of anonymity that the promise of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for hiking salaries of lower-level employees beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, came just a few days after cabinet nod of pay panel proposal. Jaitley also reiterated his commitment in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016.

It is to note that the promise in Parliament is a matter of national interest. So now the employees wait for government to settle pay hike, a matter of much lesser interest, did the FM lie to Parliament? Perhaps not. He is a great FM, but Jaitley will prefer to pick and choose lower-level employees and pay hike accordingly rather than salary hike for middle-level employees. That is what the employees are looking at, the official added.

He also confirmed finance ministry is looking into the issue ignoring the DoPT letter on October 30, last year and takes up the matter with the respective stakeholders to implement pay hike from April.

The DoPT letter stating that the demand for hike in pay and fitment factor do not appear to be treated as anomaly, therefore, these do not come under the purview of NAC.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) formed National Anomaly Committee (NAC) in September, 2016 to resolve pay anomalies arising out of the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

TST

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