Mumbai: In a major decision ahead of the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls next year, the Maharashtra government Thursday approved the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations from January 1, a move that will benefit more than 20 lakh employees and pensioners.

All employees will get salaries as per the revised scales from their February 1 pay packets, Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said.

The approval to the pay hike of government employees, which will cost the state exchequer Rs 38,655 crore, was given by the Cabinet at its meeting here and comes just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The state will face Assembly polls in the second half of 2019.

Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, speaking to reporters at Mantralaya (secretariat), said the Cabinet has approved the 7th Pay Commission’s implementation from January 1, 2019 with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016.

The New Year-eve bonanza will also bring cheers to more than 360 retired government employees who are over 100 years of age.

All employees will get salaries as per the revised scales from their February 1 pay packets, he said.

Mungantiwar said the decision will put an additional burden of Rs 38,655 crore on the state exchequer and the government will spend a total of Rs 7,731 crore annually over the next five years.

“The decision will be benefit officers, employees, teachers from aided schools and those from Zilla Parishad institutions. This will benefit as many as 20,50,000 government employees,” the minister said.

He said employees will get arrears retrospective from January, 1 2016 for the period of 36 months and it will be given in five instalments.

The minister the arrears will be credited directly to the General Provident Fund (GPF) account of the employees.

Mungantiwar said with the new pay scales coming into effect, a Group ‘D’ employee will get Rs 15,000 basic salary per month, while a Group ‘C’ staffer will take home Rs 18,000 per month in basic salary.

He said retired employees in the age of 80-85 years will get a hike of 10 per cent in their monthly pension, 15 per cent for those in 85-90 age bracket, 20 per cent for 90- 95 years and 50 per cent hike for those who are 100 and above.

“There are 362 retired government employees, who are over 100 years of age,” he said.