Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Though Minister of State for Finance P. Radhakrishnan ruled out any hike in the near future, lakhs of central government employees still hopes that the BJP-led Narendra Modi ‘sarkar’ will listen to their demands and increase the minimum pay.

The demand of Central government employees to hike the minimum pay was hit when on March 6, Radhakrishnan ruled out any hike in the near future.

He had said: 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.

The ceiling of tax-free gratuity amount for the central government employees was increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

The Dearness Allowance (DA) was increased by 2 per cent.

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.

He added, “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.

The Central government employees have been demanding for increase in the fitment factor by 3.68 times from the existing 2.57 times – an increase of minimum pay by Rs 8,000.

Meanwhile, employees believe that the further hike in 7th Pay is a ‘mirage’ and the Modi government has been dilly-dallying the issue.