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7th Pay Commission: Govt forced to rethink pay hike

New Delhi: The central government employees unions have forced government to rethink their demand for pay hike beyond the the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations, but it is unclear whether it is still committed to holding off until Modi government faces the next general elections 2019.

The unions had suspended their indefinite strike on June 30, 2016 following the assurance from the FM Arun Jaitley to look into their demands.

Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan said in the Rajya Sabha that government was not now considering hike in pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for central government employees.

The National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) chief Shiv Gopal Mishra expressed dissatisfaction with minister’s response and said the NJCA has not abandoned the demand to raise the minimum salary of the employees.

“The employees are agitated. There is tremendous amount of disappointment. I can assure you that the demand to raise the minimum pay has not been forfeited,” he said.

“We will continue our struggle in an organised manner. If negotiations fail to bring result, the option of agitation cannot be ruled out,” he added.

NJCA is an umbrella organisation of various Central Government employees’ unions, including Railways, post and telegraph and Income Tax.

Following objections from employees unions, though, the Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley, who had made promise in July, 2016 in Rajya Sabha for pay hike of the central government employees beyond the suggestion of the 7th Pay Commission, has now wanted for seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by his ministry.

“The finance ministry is not in a hurry to finalise the pay hike for employees and we will now ask the National Anomaly Committee (NAC) to understand the true meaning of Finance Minister’s view and to redraft the pay hike matter,” said one of the finance ministry official, who did not wish to be identified. “Government’s one of the highest priorities right now is to solve pay hike problem for the millions of central government employees.”

On June 29, 2016, the cabinet approved the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, which had proposed minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 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; the commission had recommended 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay at junior levels, the lowest in 70 years.

It is noted that central government employees unions had 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 and they had threatened to go on an indefinite strike over its on July 11, 2016.

The unions had suspended their indefinite strike on June 30, 2016 following the assurance from the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to look into their demands.

Accordingly, the government formed NAC in September, 2016 to resolve pay anomalies arising out of the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

In the meantime, a letter of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in October 2017 states that increasing the minimum pay and fitment formula are not concern of the NAC.

However, in response to bitter criticism of the DoPT letter leveled by the employees’ unions, the government amended the pay anomaly definition through OM dated March 14 and allowed the NAC to take any decision of pay anomaly which was not taken by the 7th Pay Commission.


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