7th Pay Commission: ‘Minimum pay hike’ and 2019 elections; what’s cooking?

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: At a time when the demand of hike in minimum pay of the central government employees is yet to be met by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, rumours are making rounds that the government is ‘intentionally’ dilly-dallying the issue for vested political interests.

“The Modi government is stretching the issue eyeing the 2019 general elections. Had not there been the elections on the cards, the government would have definitely considered the demands of the employees,” alleged a retired Indian Railways’ employee.

The employees’ demand must be considered by the government. As per the 7th Pay Commission recommendation, the minimum pay is presently Rs 18,000 which is neither enough for an employee nor can have any impact on their financial positions, he added.

According to OneIndia, the matter (minimum pay hike) has been revived for the past two weeks and serious discussions are on (at the government level) in this regard.

The minimum pay hike demand of the government employees suffered a setback recently when a minister said that the government was not mulling to hike the minimum pay.

“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 had said.

The government employees have been demanding a hike the minimum pay from the present Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000- an increase in the fitment factor 3.68 times from the existing 2.57 times. Besides, earlier, reports were that the government was mulling to increase the minimum by to Rs 21,000 under seventh pay commission against the demands of the employees but nothing materialised.

The Modi government had earlier promised to hike the pay only after the DA crosses 50 per cent with an aim to keep a balance between the salary of the employee and the market price. But now it seems, the matter is getting lingered due to mere political gains.

Can the government get any type of benefit by increasing the minimum pay during election? While it is believed that it will have no effect as the employees would have already got enough irritated because of the delay, some believe otherwise and said that the government is well aware of the demand of the employees and will soon take a final call; there’s nothing to politicise such issues.

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