New Delhi, Jan 30: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may announce a hike beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission or 7th CPC for the central government employees in Budget 2018. Only lower-paid employees are likely to get a salary hike beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. However, the government is unlikely to pay arrears on hiked pay. Meanwhile, there is no clarity whether the government raise minimum pay and fitment factor beyond the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission.

If media reports are to be believed, Arun Jaitley may allocate a fund for raising the salary of central government employees, beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, in the proposed Union Budget 2018-19. “The government is committed towards its responsibilities on Finance Minister’s assurance of raising pay for lower-level employees beyond the suggestion of the 7th Pay Commission, which will be paid from April,” Finance Ministry officials involved with the process of pay hike told Sen Times.

The government is mulling to increase the pay beyond the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission of employees, who get salaries from pay matrix level 1 to 5. In view of the pay gap between lower paid employees and top officers, the central government employees have been demanding to raise minimum pay from Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000 and fitment factor 3.68 times from 2.57 times, which was recommended by the 7th Pay Commission and approved by the Cabinet.

On June 30, 2016, a day after the Cabinet cleared the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, Arun Jaitley had promised to appoint a high-level committee to look into the issue of hike in minimum pay and fitment factor. “The government is going to fulfil the promise of FM Jaitley to increase the salary of lower-level employees beyond the the 7th Pay Commission recommendations,” the official added.

The government doesn’t want to put an extra burden on exchequer with the release of arrears on a hiked salary of lower-paid employees beyond the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. “It’s an important payment for the financial impact to lower-level employees but no arrears on pay hike will be given to employees and the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will place it before the Cabinet in the beginning of April,” officials were quoted as saying.

The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a 14.27 percent hike in basic pay, raising minimum pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 month. However, the central government employees have been asking to raise minimum pay to Rs 26,000 and fitment factor 3.68 times from 2.57 times.