New Delhi: The Finance Ministry officials involved with the process of pay hike told The Sen Times on condition of anonymity that no arrears on pay hike will be paid to central government employees.
They said, “government is committed towards its responsibilities on Finance Minister’s assurance of raising pay for lower-level employees beyond the suggestion of the 7th Pay Commission, which will be paid from April.”
“It’s an important payment for the financial impact to lower-level employees but no arrears on pay hike will be given to employees and the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will place it before the Cabinet in the beginning of April.”
The lowest earning central government employees now get Rs 18,000 since January’2016 because the 7th pay panel recommended minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 per month while the maximum pay from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh with a fitment factor of 2.57 times uniformly of basic pay of 6th pay commission and the recommendations got the Cabinet nod on June 29, 2016.
The central government employees unions’ leaders argue that the current minimum pay Rs 18,000 is not enough to live on.
They said raising minimum pay might also be useful to make up the pay gap, The pay gap between the highest maximum pay and the lowest minimum pay in the 7th Pay Commission recommendations is 1:14, which was 1:12 in the 6th pay scale.
All pay commissions except 7th Pay Commission made up pay gap between lower paid employees and top officers from second Pay Commission 1:41 ratio to Sixth pay commission 1:12.
In the view of pay gap, the central government employees unions demanded for hiking minimum pay Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000 and they asked to raising fitment factor 3.68 times from 2.57 times.
Accordingly, they had threatened to go on an indefinite strike over pay hike on July 11, 2016.
The unions had called off their indefinite strike following the assurance from the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on June 30, 2016 for looking into their “core demand of increasing Pay and fitment formula” through a High Level Committee.
So, the government formed the National Anomaly Committee (NAC) in September 2016 instead of the High Level Committee to resolve pay anomalies.
The NAC was likely to give its nod to minimum pay Rs 21,000 with raising fitment factor 3.00 times from 2.57 times. 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.
However, Jaitley assured in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016, “government will consider hiking pay beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission after discussions with all stakeholders.”
So, sources in DoPT said the proposal for hiking pay of lower-level employees may be approved by the Finance Minister as he had promised for it.
The finance ministry officials also said the government is mulling to drop the DoPT letter and to implement the commitment, which was made by FM Jaitley to hike the pay of lower-level employees.
According to FM commitment, they added the pay of central government employees upto the pay matrix level 5 will be hiked from April but no arrears on pay hike will be paid to employees .