Pessimism gripped central government employees with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley making no reference to the anomalies related to 7th Pay Commission in his Budget speech.
“Most of the central government employees were eagerly waiting for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to make some announcement on minimum wages. But after Mr Jaitley’s speech ended without mentioning anything about the increase in the minimum wage, most of us were upset,” NJCA convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra said while speaking to India.com.
“Ab toh asha ki kiran kaheen naheen hai, sirf nirasha hee nirasha hai (We are losing hope. We can only see disappointment),” the leading unionist further added. NJCA has proactively been involved in talks with Centre, seeking revision of minimum salary from Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000, among other demands.
Although Mishra indicated that the government may not backtrack on their stance over minimum salary, he claimed that the allowances would be hiked by April 1. “There are chances the government hikes the allowances from April 1. However, we would launch our protests against the government if they fail to revise the minimum salary,” he added.
The 7th Pay Commission was approved by Union Cabinet on July 1, 2016. The date of implementation was fixed as January 1, 2016. The central government employees were provided the hiked salaries from the month of July, along with arrears of six months. However, the hike was related only to the basic component of their pay. The increase in allowances was upheld, due to the anomalies raised by employee unions.
7th Pay Commission report affected nearly 47 lakh central government employees, along with 53 lakh pensioners. Implementation of the report has revised the minimum salary from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000. The maximum salary has been capped at Rs 2,50,000.
The total salary hike sanctioned through 7th Pay Commission is 23 per cent. However, the central government employees, so far, have received a hike of 14.3 per cent, which is related to the basic pay. The remaining 9 per cent of the hike is related to the allowances component.
Although the government has indicated that the allowance hike would be implemented by March, there is no word whether the central government employees would be provided arrears on allowances, akin to the manner in which they were provided on basic pay. Providing arrears to central government employees, keeping January 1, 2016 as the base, would create significant amount of burden on the exchequer.
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