Demonetisation may actually be a boon for lakhs of central government employees as the government will be in a position to implement the 7th Central Pay Commission’s recommendations come 2017. A report by the Bank of America (BoA) Merrill Lynch Global Research brought smiles on the faces of employees and pensioners as we reported yesterday. Furthermore, statements made by Urjit Patel, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, supported the report’s findings. However, the Low-Paid Employees Federation (LPEF) has sought implementation of the CPC’s recommendations and has asked for the revision of minimum daily wages, medical allowances and regularisation of contractual and short-term employees.
We had reported yesterday of how the rise in bank deposits, taxmen raiding super-rich defaulters and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana 2016‘s record-breaking earnings would result in a huge amount of money being deposited with the government and the impact it would have on the implementation of the 7th CPC’s recommendations. Demonetisation had seen the overnight scrapping of high-denomination Rs. 500 and 1000 notes and had worried the 47 lakh Central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, of which 14 lakh employees and 18 lakh pensioners are from the armed forces, about the fate of the 7th CPC and its recommendations. However, Omkar Bhagat, President of the LPEF, had a different story to tell. The federation speaks for the lowly paid and weaker sections of the society. The Federation asked that the minimum daily wage be raised to Rs 350, medical allowance be raised to Rs 1,000, regularisation of daily wage workers, ad-hoc and contractual employees on completion of seven years service and that extension of leave encashment benefits for teachers and removal of pay anomalies of clerical cadre employees be expedited, as reported here.
Deep Divisions Emerge
The speakers of the LPEF have criticised the rising inflation and the steep rise in the prices of essential daily commodities. The Federation complained of the fact that essential commodities like ration, Kerosene and LPG etc are not made available by government authorities besides the fact that regular and unscheduled power cuts were inconveniencing people. Reports today emerged, however, that the prices of LPG would not rise after March, as reported here. The government’s increasing ability to subsidise such essential commodities may be the reason behind such positive developments.
The issue of higher allowances has been referred to the ‘Committee on Allowances’ which is yet to submit its report and findings. We have reported earlier that central government employees may have to wait until at least February 2017 to get their higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The Centre is planning to pay the higher allowances without arrears. Sources in the Finance Ministry have also stated that the Centre is considering hiking allowances for its employees. No official word has been received from any sources.