New Delhi, Jun 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may announce a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission or 7th CPC on Independence Day, August 15, claimed a report published on news portal for government employees. The report also claimed that PM Modi is likely to raise the retirement age to 62 years from 60. Central government employees have been demanding a hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission since June 2016. Is there a possibility for a good news? (Update: 7th Pay Commission: When is Hike in Minimum Pay, Fitment Factor Expected?)

While the government recently said in Parliament that it wasn’t considering raising minimum pay and fitment factor, sources in the Finance Ministry have been saying that higher minimum pay would be a reality for low-level central government employees. “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 had told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The government didn’t specify any reason for denial for raising minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, however, experts say the higher-than-projected revenue deficits could be one of the reasons behind it. Implementing the 7th Pay Commission has impacted the government’s budget negatively, analysts, as reported by DNA, say. Many states government also indicated that their economies have been affected due to higher salary payout under the 7th Pay Commission, the report added.

“Under pressure from the coming general election due by May 2019, the Modi government has indicated that it may hike pay of central government employees beyond the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, seeking to win the Lok Sabha polls because the government knows one government employees can persuade at least 100 voters for the party,” a finance ministry official was quoted as saying by Sen Times on Monday. “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,” he added.

The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay, raising minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 month, which was accepted by the government in June 2016. Since then, central government employees have been asking to raise minimum pay to Rs 26,000 and fitment factor 3.68 times from 2.57 times.