7th Pay Commission: 3.68 times fitment factor hike just a ‘April fool’

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Demand of Central government employees to hike the minimum pay, citing that the recent hike recommended by the 7th Pay Commission failed to have any impact on their financial position, was hit when on March 6, Minister of State for Finance P. Radhakrishnan ruled out any hike in the near future.

The statement of the minister came amid expectations of the employees that the new financial year starting April 1 would bring some good news and the government will pay attention to their demands without lingering the issue.

However, it didn’t happen… And Radhankrishnan said that the government is not considering any hike in minimum pay for the employees beyond the recommendations of the 7th CPC.

“The minimum pay of Rs 18,000/- p.m. and the fitment factor of 2.57 are based on the specific recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission in the light of the relevant factors taken into account by it. Therefore, no change therein is at present under consideration,” he said.

Now, the employees think that they were ‘April fooled’ by the government; even though they were promised, words were not kept.

Note: News had been making rounds that the ruling Narendra Modi government would definitely increase the minimum in the very interest of the lakh of employees. Even though no official confirmation was received from any concerned ministry or department over further hike, news hit the stands citing people in finance ministry that the government was mulling to increase the minimum pay to Rs 21,000 from the existing Rs 18,000.

The government employees had been demanding a hike the minimum pay to Rs 26,000- an increase in the fitment factor 3.68 times from the existing 2.57 times.

On the other hand, the government brought in some other important things.

  1. The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) last week announced that Railway employees can now avail Leave Travel Concession (LTC). DoPT cited the recommendations of the pay panel while making the announcement.
  2. The ceiling of tax-free gratuity amount for the central government employees was increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
  3. The Dearness Allowance (DA) was increased by 2 per cent.

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However, the employees are taking these increases at regular intervals just to divert the attention from the minimum pay hike demand.

“We welcome all the decisions, so far, of the Centre but our demands also need attention. We still expect that the government will announce something I this regard,” said a government employee.

‘We believe that it (April) will be a month of April ‘bonanza’ and not April ‘fool’, said another government employee.