New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to promise salary hike to central government employees, a key vote bank for the ruling BJP in a looming general election 2019.
10 million central government employees including 5.2 million pensioners, most of them Hindus, have traditionally been supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
However, the pay hike and the rising cost of living have been the concerns for many, with some ruling party supporting employees warning that they could turn against the party if the issues are not addressed.
Runaway inflation-plagued Modi needs to consolidate support for his party to stave off an unprecedented challenge from Congress-led regional parties coalition.
“The government is likely to agree to increase the salaries for all employees, who get salaries from pay matrix level 1 to 5 from January 1, 2019” a top government official told The Sen Times on Monday.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promised to pay hike beyond the recommendations of 7th Commission on June 30, 2016 for central government employees and pensioners as part of a government Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with central government employees unions.
Jaitley also reiterated his promise in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016.
Central government employees saw a 14 per cent salary hike in 2016, the lowest in 70 years. So, employees’ unions were demanding hike in pay with a fitment factor of 3.00, while the government gave nod with a fitment factor of 2.57 times uniformly of basic pay of 6th pay commission.
Modi faces a tough contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls – which could be called in days – after BJP’s defeat in Karnataka.
The BJP crossed the halfway mark of 272 on its own in the Lok Sabha by winning 282 seats in the May 2014 general elections, the party’s individual tally now stands reduced to the bare minimum majority mark of 272 (excluding Speaker).
It reveals by-poll results gave a clear message that people are angry with BJP for inflation, anti-farmers and anti-government employees policies.