Retirement age to be hiked for Central govt staff?

By NT Bureau Published on Aug 03, 2018 03:42 PM IST

Chennai / New Delhi: There is palpable tension as Independence Day approaches as Central government employees await good news on the Seventh Pay Commission.

There has been speculation galore that the Prime Minister would make two announcements on 15 August.

However, there is no confirmation whatsoever on this issue and issues relating to the Seventh Pay Commission are still under discussion. The two issues that the CG employees hope would be resolved are a hike in the basic pay and fitment factor and an increase in the retirement age.

Good news expected, but delayed

Analysts say that if one looks at the trend, there is no reason why CG employees should not get good news. The only issue is the timing on whether the announcement will be on Independence Day or further delayed.

The main reason seems to be Arun Jaitley, who underwent a renal transplant in  mid-May and was prescribed a three-month rest.

He has been part of all the major decisions regarding the 7th Pay Commission  is yet to take charge of the ministry. He was on a three-month hiatus and will return to the Finance Ministry only after 15 August.

This would mean that a full decision would be taken only after he returns to office. During the past three months. In Jaitley's absence, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has held the charge offinance ministry and the files regarding this issue have not moved.

Jaitley has however held a few meetings with officials via video conferencing, but the 7th Pay Commission was not deliberated at length. Sources say that there is a greater chance of Modi giving the CG employees an assurance on 15 August.

For him to take a decision on the spot would not be possible as the issue is still under consideration.

The source also said that good news regarding the 7th Pay Commission is most likely to come only in November. However, there could be an assurance on Independence Day.

At a recent meeting, the government had said that the decision would be considered only after the financial implications are taken into consideration.

3-day strike by Maha staff  

The Maharashtra government, currently facing tough time handling strike and quota related issues, now will have to face another strike from its own employees. State government employees have decided to go on a three-day strike starting on 7 August.

Around 1.25 lakh state government employees announced their decision to go on a three-day strike starting on 7 August.

The State government employees who have been demanding implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations and raising the retirement age from 58 to 60, and five-day work weeks.

They had also demanded to fill 1.80 lakh vacant posts, two years of maternity leave for women officers and promotions in a time-bound manner.

They have claimed that even though the Central government had announced the implementation of the commission’s recommendations from January 1, 2016, but the State has done anything yet.

Chief adviser of Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers Association, GD Kulthe said, "Representatives of the employees had met Chief Secretary DK Jain with their demands but he failed to offer them satisfactory solutions. We have waited long, and now, we have decided to go on protest. There is no going back.”

What employees want

Central government employees minimum pay and fitment factor may well be increased in one of the upcoming national holidays.

More than 50 lakh central government employees are hoping that the fitment factor would increase to 3.68 per cent from the present of 2.57 per cent. The employees also have an expectation of the basic pay of  Rs 26,000  from the present Rs 18,000.

Pensioners too are expecting their incomes to rise courtesy of the government's decision, if, and when, it comes.