The Seventh Pay Commission has urged the Union finance ministry to extend the deadline by a month to submit its recommendations. The commission--headed by Justice AK Mathur--if granted an extension, is expected to submit its report by the end of September.
Appointed by the previous government in February 2014, the commission was given 18 months to submit its report. The time allotted for the commission ends this month.
"There are some data points that are missing, which we hope to get by this month end. We are trying to submit the report by 20 September," an official of the commission told Livemint.com.
The official cited above said that the pay commission recommendations "need to be effective from 1 January 2016, or by April 2016 at the latest".
"It will be the government's prerogative when to implement it. But beyond 1 January 2016, there will be arrears. But then, the government will be subject to criticism. Earlier, they had hidden behind Pay Commissions giving late reports," he added.
The finance ministry estimates the central government's salary bill to rise by nearly 16% to Rs 1.16 lakh crore in the next financial year 2016-17 with the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.
The commission is likely to keep the retirement age of central government employees unchanged at 60 years, the official said.
"If we lower the age limit, the pension burden will bust the government's medium-term fiscal targets," he added.
Replying to a query on whether the commission has received any instructions from the government on the salary hikes, the official said "the message it has got broadly is to keep the hikes low".
"Merge the basic with dearness allowance, don't stretch it beyond—that is the message," he said.