New Delhi: Finance Ministry officials said Friday the government was canceling the pay raises beyond the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations for central government employees, citing the “national fiscal situation and the general elections.”

Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme is likely to prove to be a game changer for the Modi led BJP government, in a build-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“The government must maintain efforts to put the nation on a fiscally sustainable course because the PM Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which faces general elections this year.

So the government is working on rolling out a Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme to alleviate poverty in the country. The scheme will guarantee a fixed income to financially weaker sections of society. Hence national exchequer cannot sustain pay rise of central government employees,” the officials said.

“The government is likely to announce a basic income of Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 a month for farmers, unemployed youths, women and elderly people. Gradually, more beneficiaries are likely to be added, including from the tribal population, those from Other Backward Classes and those belonging to weaker social strata,” they added.

“This scheme is likely to prove to be a game changer for the Modi led BJP government, in a build-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections that will be held in a few months’ time,” they confirmed.

Under PM Modi’s policy, roughly 4.7 million central government employees wouldn’t get an pay boost in near future, beyond the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

However, his Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promised on June 30, 2016 to rise pay beyond the recommendations of 7th Commission and he also reiterated his promise in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016 but all his promises were in vain.

The central government employees unions were also demanding minimum pay Rs 26,000 instead of Rs 18,000 and asked to raising fitment factor 3.68 times from current 2.57 times after implementation of the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

The employees unions now are mounting pressure on the government to restore the old pension scheme instead of New Pension Scheme (NPS) as NPS is not beneficial for them.

They now come up with the “Restoration Old Pension Scheme” campaign to show that their main priority is it and they must get it, no matter pay hike or not.

For the central government employees, it’s a good news indeed, the centre is likely to approve a hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) to 12 per cent from the existing 09 per cent from January 1, 2019, according to experts calculating DA.