New Delhi, Jan 5: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a bill to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission or 7th CPC. The Bill to hike salary of judges has got clearance from the lower house of Parliament, while the delay over a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission continues to keep central government employees guessing. (ALSO READ: Hike in Minimum Pay, Fitment Factor Likely to be Delayed Further; Here’s Why) Also Read - 7th Pay Commission Latest Update: Good News For 2 Lakh State Govt Employee as Haryana Announces Festival Advance For Them

The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 seeks to hike salary of judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts to Rs 2.5 lakh a month. Judges of High Courts will draw a salary of Rs 2.25 lakh a month once this Bill becomes law. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, while moving the Bill on Tuesday, said the Bill was necessary because the salaries of judges needed to be aligned with those of government servants after the 7th Pay Commission. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Gets Slightly Richer, HM Amit Shah Poorer As Per Assets Declaration

The Bill will now be sent to Rajya Sabha. Once the Bill is cleared by Parliament and becomes a law, the Chief Justice of India will get a monthly salary of Rs 2.80 lakh from the present Rs 1 lakh. Once the hike is effected, the salary of judges will be at par with those of the bureaucrats following the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. The salary hike, in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of all-India services, will come into force with effect from January 1, 2016. Also Read - Parliament Adjourns Sine Die, Monsoon Session Cut Short by Eight Days Over Coronavirus Concerns

While the central government employees have been waiting to see any positive development regarding a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission, the passing of Bill to raise the salaries of judges may further delay the announcement on higher minimum pay. Earlier, a source within central government employees’ union said the government deliberately delayed the hike in minimum pay and saved nearly 26,000 crores. The government may delay the implementation of the higher minimum pay to save more money.

The central government employees have been asking to raise minimum pay to Rs 26,000 and fitment factor 3.68 times from 2.57 times. The government had approved recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on a hike in salary and allowances in June 2016 and July 2017 respectively. The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a 14.27 percent hike in basic pay — the lowest in 70 years, raising minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 month.