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7th Pay Commission – HOT NEWS – The Sources indicate, the Government is in no mood to take the wrath of the Government employees and is truly in a damage control mode.
The Bihar election was seen as a referendum on Modi’s popularity ahead of his visit to the UK on 12 November. A BJP win would have greatly affected India’s opposition parties, who were badly defeated by Modi’s party during the 2014 general elections. A Bihar state election win would have also meant that the BJP would have gained more seats in the upper house of parliament, where it currently lacks a majority. As a minority in the upper house, the governing party has struggled to pass key legislation and economic reforms.
The prime minister’s party has also come under controversy during the past few weeks over attempts to ban cow slaughter in the country. Hindus consider the animals sacred and several BJP-ruling states have begun tightening laws to ban beef consumption, which has created tension between religious groups. A number of Hindu mobs have been accused of violence against Muslim men who were alleged to be eating beef.
Modi’s party has also been facing increasing backlash from high-profile writers, film-makers and scientists, who are returning state awards in protest over “rising intolerance” under BJP rule. Many others have joined them in calling on the prime minister to address the recent killings, with protests also organised in the UK during Modi’s visit to meet David Cameron and the Queen.
If that was not enough, for the first time, after almost two years of Modi in power, the dissent within his party has come to light, with senior leaders like Advani, Yashwant Sinha including Shatrughan Sinha has openly criticized the high command.
The BJP had hoped to do well in Bihar, so it could swing the Rajya Sabha in its favour to unclog the deadlock taking place at the Centre. The most immediate impact of this election is that the deadlock is likely to remain in place. But Bihar means much more to the BJP. In 2014, the BJP won 22 of its 282 seats (8 per cent) from Bihar; the current loss in Bihar may have a carry-on effect to Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, where it won 71 Lok Sabha seats in 2014. In short, the drubbing in Bihar significantly weakens the BJP’s position at the Centre. Many policies that it had hoped to push through are now likely to be blocked or compromised.
Adding to the misery, the BJP is unlikely to do well in the 2016 State Assembly elections. In 2016, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal will have go for polls. Of these States, the BJP has a chance to have a reasonable seat share only in Assam (which will likely go to the polls in October 2016), although it has not fared well recently. This means that the BJP could go at least two years without winning a State election, and likely will go longer without winning. This will severely weaken the party as it heads into the all-important 2017 State Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.
All these have set the Government to rethink and modify its strategies in many fronts.
Earlier the Government was planning for high and controversial reforms for the Government employees. However, the sources now indicate, with the debacle in Bihar elections, the Government is truly in backfoot and is considering a whole plan change in the implementation strategy of the 7th pay commission recommendations, which was planned earlier.
Let us take a quick look of what the 7th Commission is expected to recommend based on the media reports floating around.
- Retirement age
- Forced retirement
- Closing of CGHS facility
- Salary hike based on efficiency
- Change in Grade Pay Structure or even put an end to Grade Pay system
- An increase of 30% in Salary
The Finance Ministry too on its part before the submission of 7th Pay Commission report indirectly made its mind clear saying ‘the Seventh Pay Commission will be mindful of the fiscal concerns of the government while giving its report on new pay scales and remunerations for central government employees and pensioners’.
However, everything is changed after the Bihar results, sources indicate.
“We realise that the government employees are upset as it is becoming difficult for them to manage their household expenses with the high inflation rate. They were clearly against us not to merge 50 percent dearness allowance with basic pay before implementation of Seventh Pay Commission,” a central minister had to say. “Central government employees should not lose ground as inflation erodes their salaries” he further added.
“There was a sense of insecurity among government employee who feared the media rumours that the pay commission is planning to recommend the retirement age of government employees as the completion of 33 years of service, or at the age of 58, whichever comes first. We want to prove the ‘false’ media rumours to implement pay commission soon,” said the minister.
He further said, “People who work for the Central Government are hard working, they care for their country, they are patriotic, they do a good job, It is also time to stop demonize central government employees and to encourage them, the recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission for central government employees will be implemented in the next financial year, he added.
Accordingly, Central government will implement the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission in April after fund allocation in budget 2016-17, which will be possible pre-election “special packages” for Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry, which are all due for polls by May 2016. The Government Sources said.
Highly reliable Sources indicate, the Government is in no mood to take the wrath of the Government employees and is truly in a damage control mode.
The Source further added, the Government has also asked the finance ministry to work out a plan if it is possible to increase the pay by 40% for the Central Government employees as against the projected recommendation of 30% by the 7th Pay Commission.