7th pay commission, 7th cpc, north block, finance ministry, modi, employees
Reuters file

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday, January 30, gave the approval for applicability of revised pay scales to employees of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as per recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).

"Approval given to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for applicability of revised pay scales to its employees on recommendations of 7th CPC. Financial arrangements to provide new pay scales to the employees of BIS will be made from own resources of this organisation," Paswan wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Earlier, on Monday, it was reported that a new development could raise hopes for about 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, of which 14 lakh employees and 18 lakh pensioners are from the defence forces.

The Election Commission of India (EC) said in its order issued on Monday that the budget cannot have promises that are aimed at the five states that could give an electoral edge to the BJP.

"The Commission hereby directs that in the interest of free and fair elections and in order to maintain level playing field during elections, no State specific schemes shall be announced in the National Budget which may have the effect of influencing the electors of the five poll going States in favour of the ruling party(ies)," the EC said.

"It may be ensured that in the Budget Speech, the Government's achievements in respect of said five States will also not be highlighted in any manner," the poll panel added.

In other words, the Narendra Modi government could take a call on raising allowances as proposed by the 7th CPC since the decision would have a pan-India effect and not necessarily be seen as luring voters of the five states. So, the model code of conduct need not come as a hurdle.

Money has not been seen as a constraint given that the tax collections have remained buoyant this year and the government also made adequate provisions (~Rs 70,000 crore) for implementing the 7th CPC proposals in Budget 2016.