7th Pay Commission Latest News: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Union Budget 2020 speech on Saturday brought disappointment to central employees and pensioners. The Budget, as it turned out, did not have any announcement pertaining to dearness allowance (DA) or minimum wage; the expectation, according to reports, was that the government would at least announce a DA hike but that didn’t happen.

Notably, Sitharaman’s speech on Saturday, at 2 hours 43 minutes, was the country’s longest-ever Budget speech but did contain any DA or minimum wage-related announcement.

According to reports, the government may take a decision in this regard by March. If, as expected, DA is hiked by 4%, it would take total DA to 21%. A hike in DA would also result in a salary hike of central government employees in the range of Rs 700-Rs 10,000. DA is expected to be hiked by 4% because of the recently released Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers from November 2019, which registered a rise by reaching 328 points.

Notably, central government employees have been demanding, for a long time, that their salary be raised from Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000.

Earlier, the central government was likely to announce a hike in both DA and minimum wage before the Budget but that too didn’t happen.

The Finance Minister, in her Budget speech, announced, among other things, that, just like before, there will be no income tax for those with an annual salary of up to Rs 2.5 lakh. For those with an annual salary between Rs 2.5 lakh-Rs 5 lakh, will have to pay a 5% income tax.