Shimla, Jun 12: While central government employees have been waiting for a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission or 7th CPC, several state government have begun taking steps to provide financial relief to their employees. One such state is Himachal Pradesh where the government hiked special pay and the uniform allowance of state government drivers.

The Himachal Pradesh government, led by chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, announced a hike in the special pay of state government drivers from Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 per month under the 7th Pay Commission. It also cleared a hike in the uniform allowance from Rs 200 to Rs 300. The chief minister also ordered to clear pending medical and travelling allowance bills of the drivers and conductors at the earliest.

CM Thakur also announced financial assistance for drivers of dozers, JCB and plant machines, who have not received any promotion during their careers. He announced a grant of two special increments for them. Meanwhile, there is no clarity on whether the central government will hike minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

According to a report, PM Modi is likely to announce the hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on August 15. “The two announcements that Prime Minister Modi is likely to make in his speech from Red Fort on 15 August, the Independence Day for central government employees are an increase of pay and the raising retirement age to 62 years from 60,” a government official was quoted as saying in the report.

The last what we heard from the government was in March this year when Minister of State in Finance, P Radhakrishnan informed Rajya Sabha that it was not considering hiking minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. This dashed the hope of 48 lakh employees who have been demanding higher minimum pay.

“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,” Radhakrishnan had told the upper house of Parliament.