New Delhi, Jun 6: A hike in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission or 7th CPC has bee a dream of central government employees since June 2016. Uncertainty continues to hang over an increase in minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission even today. However, a report published in Sen Times claimed that central government employees will get a good news on higher minimum pay on Independence Day, August 15.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce to raise minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission from Red Fort on Independence Day, the report claimed. PM Modi is likely to raise the retirement age to 62 years from 60, it added. There was no official confirmation of this report regarding higher minimum pay.

“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 government official was quoted as saying.

“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.

Notably, 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 in Finance, P Radhakrishnan told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

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.