Published On: Thu, Jan 31st, 2019

7th Pay Commission: Minimum pay likely to be increased ahead of general elections

New Delhi: Central government will raise the minimum pay from current Rs 18,000, which was recommended by the 7th Pay Commission, National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) chief Shiv Gopal Mishra said in a Facebook post on Monday, as Home Minister Rajnath Singh tries to defuse discontent among central government employees ahead of general elections 2019.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh talked with interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal by phone to solve the pay hike and old pension scheme issues.

The NJCA is an umbrella organisation of various central government employees’ unions, including Railways, post and telegraph and Income Tax.

The central government employees and their families will be better off following the increase in the minimum pay that takes ahead of general elections in 2019.

Mishra requested Rajnath Singh to increase the salaries and to restore old pension for employees, when Home Minister called him over these issues.

Since both matters are related to the finance ministry, the minister talked with interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal by phone to solve the issues and asked not to ignore employees’ displeasure.

Rajnath Singh has also called a meeting of the central government employees unions with Goyal on February 8, which shows the government is serious about pay hike and restoration of old pension, according to Mishra’s posting in Facebook.

However, the finance ministry made it clear on Wednesday that the government has no intention to hike pay and to restore the old pension scheme.

The central government employees unions have been demanding minimum pay Rs 26,000 instead of Rs 18,000 and asked to raising fitment factor 3.68 times from current 2.57 times after implementation of the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

They are also demanding for restoration of General Provident Fund (GPF) with old pension and family pension system which was replaced with contribution-based New Pension System (NPS) in 2004.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will meet interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal and the central government employees unions on February 8 to discuss possible sops for employees ahead of the 2019 general election — a clear indication that the BJP government is well on course to responding to its employees related crisis.

Raising the minimum pay is part of BJP government’s ambitious agenda to capitalize its result in the coming elections where it will be challenging for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.

It is to be noted that the government might find it difficult to move back to old pension system which was discontinued due to its huge fiscal burden.

TST

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