New Delhi, Apr 6: The Modi government had approved recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission to revise salaries of central government employees in June 2016. Since then, 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, which was recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. While latest reports suggested the government was mulling to raise minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, the Centre said no such proposal was being considered.

The BJP government is likely to announce a substantial hike in salary of its employees beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission in a bid to retain power in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, said a Sen Times report. Besides salary hike, the government may also raise the retirement age of all central government employees. “Ahead of general elections next year, the BJP-led central government is mulling to implement the pay hike for central government employees,” a senior government official was quoted as saying. “The decisions may be taken to achieve the aim at luring central government employees to turn voters in support of BJP,” he added.

The government has clarified that it was not considering to raise minimum pay and fitment factor beyond 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 development suggests that there is not much hope for higher minimum pay.

There has been no clarity on whether the government will hike minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. Reports had emerged that the government had given a green signal to the National Anomaly Committee (NAC) for raising minimum pay to Rs 21,000 from Rs 18,000 with fitment factor 3.00. However, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) denied this. One of the reports went on to say that the government would accept central government employees’ demand of raising minimum pay to Rs 26,000. But it is highly unlikely.