New Delhi, Aug 18: The government approved recommendations of 7th Pay Commission regarding hike in salary and allowances for central government employees. However, the increase in government employees’ income, under the 7th Pay Commission, was not satisfactory as per their expectations. The lowest salary hike and slashed House Rent Allowance (HRA) left central government employees irked.
The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay — the lowest in 70 years. The 6th Pay Commission had recommended a 20 per cent hike in the basic pay, which the government doubled while implementing it in 2008. The HRA, which constitutes a substantial part of central government employees’ salaries, was also reduced under the 7th Pay Commission. The HRA rates, which was paid at 30 per cent for X (population of 50 lakh and above), 20 per cent for Y (5 to 50 lakh) and 10 per cent for Z (below 5 lakh) category cities, have been reduced to 24 per cent for X, 16 per cent for Y and 8 per cent for Z category cities.
“Nobody is satisfied. The employees had been waiting since last July when the Committee was formed to review our demands. After a delay of one year, some of our important demands are yet to be paid heed to,” National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra had said in July. “First of all, the Pay Commission decided to reduce what was granted by the 5th and 6th CPC. After we objected, they decided to revise HRA at 30, 20 and 10, but only for Group D employees,” he added.
Moreover, the government not only delayed the implementation of the HRA but also didn’t accept the demand of arrears. It started to disburse HRA from July 1, this year, while, the 7th Pay Commission award was implemented from 1 January 2016. Though the HRA was reduced by the 7th Pay Commission, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the allowance may impact inflation. Miffed over low pay hike and reduction in HRA, central government employees’ unions demanded hiking minimum pay Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000 and asked to raise fitment factor 3.68 times from 2.57 times, which was implemented by the government based on the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
“The date for Pay Commission roll-out was 1-1-2016. It is the not the fault of employees that government had to delay the roll-out in an unprecedented manner. They have the right over arrears for the past 17 months,” Mishra had said. However, the sources in the Finance Ministry have been saying that the government is not going to hike minimum pay from Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000 under the 7th Pay Commission. “The demands of central government employees over their pay scales as well as minimum pay and allowances are likely not to be considered by the National Anomaly Committee on behalf of the government,” the Finance Ministry sources were quoted as saying.