The 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) suggested something drastic in its almost 900-page report, enough to upset about 47 lakh Central government employees and about 52 lakh pensioners. It recommended to do away with the practice of pay commissions altogether.
The Commission, headed by Justice (Retd) Ashok Kumar Mathur, had instead proposed one that should be more aligned to performance.
"The concept of separate grade pay has been done away with and the grade pay at all levels has been subsumed into the pay matrix...It is also recommended that the matrix may be reviewed periodically without waiting for the long period of ten years," according to the report.
"It is suggested that this should be made the basis for revision of that matrix periodically without waiting for another Pay Commission," it added.
The Cabinet rejected the key recommendation, reports The Hindu.
"The reforms recommended by the pay commission are effectively killed ... an opportunity to rationalise pays and link them to performance, and introduce meritocracy has been lost," the Chennai-based daily quoted a senior finance ministry official as saying.
It may be recalled that the Narendra Modi government has appointed a panel to look into the grievances of trade unions that are upset with the salary hike recommendation by the 7th CPC. The unions have demanded Rs. 26,000 as the minimum monthly salary at the entry level as against Rs. 18,000 proposed by the Commission.
The unions have deferred their proposed July 11 indefinite strike for four months in view of the government forming a high-level committee to revisit the pay panel's proposals after meeting union representatives on June 30.
"They (trade union representatives) had requested that certain issues raised by them in relation to the pay scales and other recommendations of the Pay Commission be allowed to be raised before a Committee of Secretaries looking into different aspects of grievances of employees in relation to the Pay Commission recommendations.
"The Ministers assured the Union leaders that the issues raised by them would be considered by a High Level Committee," the government said in a statement on Wednesday.
The 7th CPC was appointed to look into the salary and related issues applicable to Central Government employees (industrial and non-industrial); employees belonging to the All India Services; employees of union territories; officers and employees of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department; members of the regulatory bodies (excluding the RBI) set up under the Acts of Parliament and officers and employees of the Supreme Court.
In addition to Justice (Retd) Mathur, the Commission had two members — Vivek Rae and Dr. Rathin Roy, and Meena Agarwal as secretary. It was assisted by 16 consultants and many assistants.