7th Pay Commission report: The Indian Railways has not taken any decision to hike trains fares to neutralise the impact of increased financial burden which the ailing national transporter is going to face for implementing 7th Pay Commission for its employees. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu parried questions on the issue, but when asked about a hike in fare in the backdrop of implementation of pay panel recommendations, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told reporters, “No decision on fare has been taken as of now.”
The 7th Pay Commission is likely to have an impact on the Indian Railways, one of the largest public sector employer in the country with over 1.3 million employees.
With the government accepting the pay- and pension-related recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission with a slight betterment of the commission’s package for specified cadres of armed forces, over 1 crore central government staffers and pensioners will get an additional Rs 84,933 crore as recompense in FY17 — 19.6% higher than in a business-as-usual scenario. The largesse, though much lower than in the generous 6th pay panel’s award (which brought about a hefty and historic 54% “real hike” in pay compared with the current panel’s 14.3%), would still provide some boost to consumption and savings, but policymakers said its inflationary impact would be minimal.
The minimum pay for the lowest level staff will now be Rs 18,000 per month (Rs 7,000 earlier); the apex pay (drawn by secretaries to the government) will be Rs 2,25,000 per month and the pay of the Cabinet secretary will be Rs 2,50,000 per month. While the 5th and 6th commissions had worked on the principle of reducing the differential between the remuneration of the government and private-sector employees, the latest pay commission acknowledged the fact that at the lower levels government staff are better paid.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Central Pay Commission’s recommendation for a 63% rise in allowances (which would have inflated the Centre’s and railways’ outgo by R29,300 crore) has been put on hold until a finance secretary-led committee reviews this along with the commission’s suggestions for an overhaul of the 196-odd such benefits. He said the fitment factor of 2.57 proposed by the commission for pay and pension has been accepted, while the index has been improved to 2.67 for brigadiers and additional stages provided for lieutenant colonel and colonel to bring parity with their counterparts in paramilitary forces. Annual increment has been retained at the current 3%.