New Delhi, May 9: Since the government approved the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission or 7th CPC in June 2016, there has been a demand for a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor by central government employees. If media reports are to be believed, the government may raise minimum pay to Rs 21,000 from Rs 18,000 and fitment factor to 3.68 times from 2.57 times that were recommended by the 7th Pay Commission before 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, these are nothing but speculative reports.

Sources in the Finance Ministry had earlier said the demand for hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission won’t be accepted as it will bring an additional financial burden on the exchequer. “If they hike pay for their employees, the central government is likely to face difficulty in bearing this extra financial burden. Accordingly, central government employees demand hiking pay especially minimum pay of Rs 18,000 will not be accepted,” they told Sen Times.

Moreover, the government, in March, said that it wasn’t considering raising minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. “The minimum pay of Rs.18,000/- p.m. and 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,” Minister of State Finance, P Radhakrishnan told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The reply came in response to a question posed by Samajwadi Party MP Neeraj Shekhar. Shekhar had sought to know “whether Government is actively contemplating to increase minimum pay from Rs.18,000/- to Rs.21,000/- and fitment factor from 2.57 to 3, in view of resentment among Central Government employees over historically lowest increase in pay by 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).”

The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a hike of 14.27 per cent in basic pay of central government employees, raising minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000. However, central government employees have been asking to raise minimum pay to Rs 26,000 and fitment factor 3.68 times.