The finance ministry on Monday notified higher salaries for Central government employees in line with the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendation — a move that will benefit nearly 1 crore staffers and pensioners, and cost the exchequer an additional Rs 1.02 lakh crore annually.
While notifying a 2.57-time hike in basic salary, the Centre also accepted pay panel’s suggestion to withhold annual increment of employees whose performance is not up to the mark. The recommendation of “withholding of annual increments in the case of those employees who are not able to meet the benchmark either for MACP (Minimum Assured Career Progression) or a regular promotion within the first 20 years of their service” has been “accepted”, it said.
The pay panel had in its report to the Centre said that there is a widespread perception that increments as well as upward movement in the hierarchy happen as a matter of course. The MACP scheme will continue to be administered at 10, 20 and 30 years of service as before, while the benchmark for performance appraisal for promotion and financial upgradation has been enhanced to “very good” from “good” level.
The entry level pay has been raised to Rs 18,000 per month from current Rs 7,000 with effect from January 1, 2016, while the maximum pay, drawn by the Cabinet Secretary, has been fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh per month from current Rs 90,000. The notification provided for a consolidated monthly pay package of Rs 4.5 lakh for chairpersons of sector regulators and Rs 4 lakh for their members.
These included Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Securities and Exchange Board of
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India, Competition Commission of India, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority, and Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India.
There shall be two dates for grant of increment — January 1 and July 1 every year — instead of the existing July 1 only. Employees will be entitled to only one annual increment on either of these two dates depending on the date of appointment, promotion or grant of financial upgradation, it said.
The Union Cabinet had last month accepted the recommendation of Justice A K Mathur headed panel in respect of the hike in basic pay and pension but a decision on its suggestions relating to allowances has been referred to a committee headed by finance secretary.
The Pay Commission had recommended abolition of 53 out of 196 allowances that the government employees currently get and moderation in several others.
“Till a final decision on allowances is taken based on the recommendations of this Committee, all allowances will continue to be paid at existing rates in existing pay structure, as if the pay had not been revised with effect from January 1, 2016,” it said.
The recommendations cover 47 lakh Central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners. This includes 14 lakh serving employees and 18 lakh pensioners in defence forces. “The recommendations on allowances (except dearness allowance) will be referred to a committee comprising finance secretary and secretary (expenditure) as chairman and secretaries of home affairs, defence, health and family welfare, personnel and training, posts and chairman, railway board as members,” the notification said. The Committee will submit its report within four months.