In a move aimed at putting the demand for the 7th Pay Commission on the government’s drawing board and With a little over a year to go before the next general election, the demand for a Seventh Pay Commission has started to gather momentum, Union housing and urban poverty alleviation minister Ajay Maken has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set it up this year to neutralise the effect of soaring inflation. Union Minister Ajay Maken has taken the lead in endorsing the Central government employees’ request for setting up of the new pay panel, citing the erosion of real wages due to high inflation since implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations
His demand this week is the first voice in support of the panel from within Singh’s cabinet.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Maken underlined how every pay panel since the Second Pay Commission, barring the Sixth Pay Commission, were set up in the third year of the decade. “We are again in the third year of the ongoing decade and Central government employees are justifiably looking forward to the Seventh Pay Commission,” he said.
Recalling that it was under Singh that the last pay panel was set up in 2005, after the NDA government failed to do so in 2003, Maken, in the communication dated March 14, requested that a decision be “taken on priority” for constitution of the Seventh Central Pay Commission. “A notification for constitution of the 7th Central Pay Commission is the need of the bour, which is bound to have bearing upon about 20 million employees,” he said.
Retail prices rose 160% during 2006-2011 but dearness allowance went up only 51%.
Besides, Maken argued, it was time to rework the principles on which public sector wages were fixed in order to attract and retain talent. He said it was no longer enough to pay employees to simply meet minimum needs.
The finance ministry, struggling to bring fiscal deficit under control, has rejected demands from government employees to set up the panel – generally appointed in the third year of every decade. [click here to see]
Maken concluded by emphasizing that setting up of the new pay panel was in “larger interest of government employees as well as the (Congress) party”.
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