7th Pay Commission: Confusion prevails over hike in minimum pay, fitment factor demand
It has been more than a year now and the Central government is yet to settle the minimum pay scale issue. The recent report suggests that fitment factor and pay scale issues would not be considered in anomaly.
- 48 lakh Central government employees waiting for hike in minimum pay and fitment factor
- Deputy Secretary of Government states pay scale issue not considered in anomaly
- Govt recommended Rs 18,000 minimum pay and 2.57 times fitment factor last year
As many as 48 lakh Central government employees are still in confusion whether the government has actually considered their minimum pay and fitment factor demand beyond the recommendation of 7th Pay Commission or not.
Earlier reports have been continuously mentioning that minimum pay and fitment factor beyond 7th Pay Commission recommendation is under serious consideration, and the 22-member National Anomaly Committe (NAC) will present the issue before Union Cabinet on December 15, 2017, and once approved, the changes will be implemented from April 2018.
Assurances were provided by a group of ministers including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on June 30, 2016, that the high level committee will be increasing minimum pay and fitment formula. Besides, there were reports saying the NDA government has already given a green signal to pay scale hike last month.
Jaitley in Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2016 said, "The assurance given to the NJCA leaders by the Group of Ministers (including Finance Minister) on 30-06-2016 is that enhancement in minimum pay and fitment factor (multiplication factor) will be considered favourably by the government, once the proposal in this regard is submitted to government by the proposed “High Level Committee” within four months. Hence, the matter will come for the “consideration” of the government only after submission of the report by the High Level Committee."
Further, reports said that the NAC will recommend minimum pay hike to Rs 21,000 from existing recommendation of Rs 18,000 and fitment factor to 3.00 times from existing 2.57 times. But the inputs coming in now hint that the government may not accept this demand.
7CPC on its website last week stated: "We are reproducing below a letter from Govt. dated October 30, 2017 addressed to Secretary, Staff Side, National Council JCM stating that the demand for increase in Minimum Pay and Fitment Formula will not come under the purview of National Anomaly Committee."
DK Sengupta, Deputy Secretary to the Government of India replied to Shiv Gopal, Secretary, Staff-Side National Council, JCM on October 30, 2017 saying, "I am directed to refer to your letters No. NC-JCM-2017/7th CPC Anomaly dated 16th August, 2017 and 31th August, 2017 with which a total of 18 items have been sent to DoPT for discussion in the NAC meetings. These 18 items are about various issues over which, the Staff-Side has opined, anomaly has arisen as a result of the 7th CPC’s recommendations or absence of them."
Sengupta further added, "There are also certain items which should be taken up at the Departmental Anomaly Committees of the other administrative Ministries concerned. A few items are those which, for a detailed examination, need more relevant documents/papers etc."
Under the items which needed detailed examination involved Central government's minimum pay scale and fitment factor.
Sengupta's letter highlighted, "As against the Minimum Wage decided to be Rs 18,000 by the Govt with effect from January 01, 2016, the Staff-Side has said that this should be not less than Rs 26,000 and the multiplication factor ought to have been 3.714 and not 2.57."
"They have further asked for the pay matrix to be changed. Objecting to the methodology adopted by the 7th CPC in computing the Minimum Wage, they have given a number of reasons like the retail prices of the commodities quoted by the Labour Bureau being irrational, adoption of the 12 monthly average of the retail price being contents to the Dr Avkrovd formula, the website of the Agriculture Ministry giving the retail prices of commodities forming the basis of computation of minimum wage provides a different picture, so on and so forth," it said.
However, when one compares this item with the three situations given in DoPT’s OM. No. 11/2/2016-jCA dated August 16, 2016 and February 20, 2017, it does not appear that this satisfies any of them to be treated as an anomaly.