17 lakh employees in Maharshtra are on a 3-day strike. The employees are demanding a pay hike and the earliest implementation of the seventh pay recommendations. However, it should be noted that around 1.5 lakh gazetted officers withdrew from the strike after a Government Resolution (GR) was issued on Monday night stating that the pending arrears of the Dearness Allowance (DA) for a period of 14 months will be paid to them.
Earlier, the Fadnavis government also issued a resolution stating that the implementation will happen in January 2019.
“The arrears of 7th Pay Commission will be given retrospective from January 2016 while the Dearness Allowance will be retrospective for the last 14 months,” the chief minister said in a statement after chairing a meeting with the unions.
The decision will impose an additional burden of a whopping Rs 21,000 crore on the exchequer, as per the government estimate Rs 4,800 crore would be allocated for the implementation of Pay Commission in the Budget.
It should be noted that the state government in its resolution also made it clear that if the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission gets delayed, the employees will be eligible for the benefit as per the wage structure of the Central government employees from January 2019.
Maharashtra Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Madhyavarti Sanghatna general secretary Avinash Daund claimed that class 3 and 4 government employees have joined the strike. He accused the state government of paying a mere “lip-service” to their long-pending demands.
He further claimed that 1.85 lakh posts of class 3 and class 4 employees are lying vacant in Maharashtra. Around 30-40 per cent of total posts are lying vacant in hospitals and other essential services departments, he added.
The government has not done anything beyond giving assurances for raising the retirement age from 58 years to 60 years, five-day week working system, continuation of the old pension scheme and two-year child care leave to women employees, he said.
Daund said their organisation was against outsourcing of some government jobs to private sector and appointment of contract labourers.
Meanwhile, hopes of pay hike of around 50 lakh central government employees under the Seventh pay commission got a blow due to a report by the Reserve Bank of India, the employees are worried that pay hike might become a far fetched dream as the RBI has raised inflation concern over revised House Rent allowance (HRA) and experts feel that pay hike might not come, keeping in mind the rising inflation and RBI’s observations.
RBI last week decided to increase the policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%. The reverse repo rate has been hiked to 6.25%, the RBI announced after its three-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.
“RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee has decided to increase the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6.5% Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.25% and marginal standing facility rate and Bank Rate to 6.75%,” the apex bank said in a statement.
RBI in its eport mentioned that inflation rates have increased on account of implementation of 7th Pay Commission. The revised HRA structure came into place in July 2017 under the 7th Pay Commission.
Currently, the Central government employees are getting basic pay according to the fitment formula of 2.57 of the basic pay and if this big step is taken, it will come as a massive news for the Central government employees. Fitment factor is a figure used by 7th CPC with which the basic pay in 6th CPC regime (i.e Pay in Pay band + Grade pay) is multiplied in order to fix basic pay in revised pay structure (i.e 7th CPC). Fitment factor formulated by 7th CPC is 2.57.