7th Pay Commission: Centre faces tough task to bridge pay gap

New Delhi: After the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s promised for hiking salaries of central government employees beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, the employees have started working on numbers to find out how the next announcement will lower the existing pay gap.

If the FM Arun Jaitley wants to bridge pay gap, he will implement it ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections announcement to capture more votes for BJP.

There is a ray of hope amid the disgruntled lot though. They expect the Finance Minister Jaitley to bridge the gap with the implementation of his promise, which was made in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016.

How wide is this gap? According to central government employees’ unions leader argued that the difference has nearly 14 times.

“The pay in the highest pay matrix (Level-18) meant for Cabinet secretary to the government is Rs 2,50,000 (fixed), which was Rs 90,000 (fixed) in the immediate past under 6th pay commission recommendation. The rate of increase is 178%.

The pay matrix in the lowest grade (Level-1) is Rs 18,000 which was Rs 7,000 under 6th pay commission recommendation. The rate of increase is 157%.

The pay gap between the highest pay matrix (Level-18) and the lowest grade (Level -1) is 1:14, which was 1:12 in the 6th pay scale.,” a union leader said.

However, it is an uneven comparison between the pays of top bureaucrats and lowest earning employees but 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.

The first pay commission was recommended pay of the top bureaucrats 41 times higher than the government employees at the bottom. The top bureaucrats were given salary Rs 2,263 while the lowest earning employees got Rs 55,” a central government employee said.

“A glance at the central pay hike without going into the pay bands shows that an employee who drew Rs 100 are now getting Rs 257 on an average with fitment factor 2.57 times of basic pay of 6th pay commission. But but the central government employees unions have been demanding a further raise to Rs 368 with fitment factor 3.68 times. The government plans to give Rs 300 with fitment factor 3.00 times,” a senior government official in Finance Ministry said on condition of anonymity.

Accordingly, the government plans to give minimum pay Rs 21,000 instead of current Rs 18,000 but the increase will differ based on pay matrix level, the official added confirmed.

Without denying the need for pay hike for central government employees, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has to take a call to what extent he would meet the gap, a union leader said.

If the FM Jaitley wants to bridge pay gap between the top officers and lower level employees, he will implement it ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections announcement to capture more votes for BJP, the official told The Sen Times.

“Keeping this in mind, Jaitley’s written assurance on pay hike beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations to us on June 29, 2016, we appreciate Jaitley’s reiterating pay hike promise in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016. But we wants to see the concrete result of his promise. The government isn’t in a mood to give us a hearing even, which has already generated tremendous amount of disappointment among the employees but don’t give up hope, we can assure that the demand to hike pay has not been forfeited,” a top unions leader said.