New Delhi: Seventh Pay Commission was approved to form by the UPA government on September 25, 2013, which may benefit as many as 50 lakh central government employees and 56 lakh pensioners, with an eye on votes in that crucial election year.
The Sixth pay commission was constituted in 2006 and in the normal course, the government was expected to announce the next pay commission after a gap of 10 years. The fifth came in 1996. But with the UPA government’s image battered by a spate of corruption scandals, the date had been advanced by two years in order to recover some lost ground with the electorate.
The UPA government justified the early constitution of the commission on the ground that it will take around two years to submit its recommendations. The Sixth pay commission, for example, was constituted in October 2006 and the Centre implemented it ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, showering central government employees with a big pay hike bonanza.
The Sixth pay commission had recommended a 20 to 40 per cent jump in salary. This cheered the employees, but wreaked havoc with the government’s finances as the fiscal deficit soared to 6 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The consequent burden of arrears on the central government was Rs 28,160 crore on a salary base of Rs 44,360 crore.