7th Pay Commission: Paying central government employees more makes sense
Salaries of central government employees have been falling since independence, once inflation is taken into account, making it harder and harder for employees to make ends meet, a central minister told us in 10th Civil Services Day function here on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.
He also said employees who are paid the higher salaries, have better morale, making them more loyal and more productive.
“We support our government moves to hike salaries of central government employees, according to 7th Pay Commission recommendations,” the minister said.
These changes are in line with the cabinet nod of the long-awaited 7th Pay Commission award for central government employees are likely to be implemented in next two months, which will be increasing salaries for 4.8 million central government employees between 30 to 40 percent, he added.
As inflation has averaged over 6% to 10% during the last few years since the Sixth Pay Commission award, the 7th Pay commission as well as secretaries group was right to recommend high increase of pay, which only belatedly acknowledges rises in the cost of living, he confirmed.
He also said that the salaries of the senior government officials remain low, not only in comparison to other countries, but also in relation to Indian private sector.
He asked, a mature public debate is needed on central government employees’ pay in general.
“Over the decades, civil servants’ pay has declined significantly relative to prices and private sector pay growth, while instances of corruption in the public sector have grown.
During the same period, countries such as Singapore have achieved huge success in rooting out institutionalized corruption by making civil servants pay more competitive with the private sector.
This has also significantly improved service delivery by enabling their government to attract and retain better motivated and higher quality civil servants.
As a minimum, the government should make a permanent Pay Commission to review salary rates according to soaring inflation and to adopt a formula linking salary increases to changes in inflation and improvements in productivity and revenue gains.
Everyone can benefit by adopting permanent Pay Commission for civil servants’ pay to help improve planning and delivery of public services,” he argued in support of central government employees’ pay hike.
The Empowered Committee of Secretaries i.e. group of secretaries, which was set up in January to examine the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission before cabinet nod.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley received the 7th Pay Commission’s report from Justice A K Mathur in November, who headed the panel, who recommended for raising minimum pay to Rs 18,000 per month from current Rs 7,000 while the maximum pay Rs 2.5 lakh per month from current Rs 90,000, which will be effective from January 1, 2016.
The panel also recommended a 14.27 per cent increase in basic pay. The overall increase in salary, allowances and pensions is 23.55%. The increase in allowances will be higher by 63% while pensions will rise 24%.