The 7th Pay Commission report has recommended an average 23.55% hike in salaries and allowances of Central government staff and the same is likely to be replicated in all the states too, except Puducherry where the same system as in Centre is already applicable – minimum pay set at Rs 18,000 per month and maximum pay at Rs.2,50,000 per month – recommended date of implementation: 01, January, 2016. Here we provide all you ever wanted to know in 10 points on most crucial aspects of the Seventh Pay Commission report :
1. Minimum Pay – Based on the Dr Wallace Aykroyd formula (nutrition) , the minimum pay (salary) in government is recommended to be set at Rs 18,000 per month; Maximum Pay: Rs 2,25,000 per month for Apex Scale and Rs 2,50,000 per month for Cabinet Secretary and others presently at the same pay level. If passed, the salary hikes this report is recommending are likely to boost demand for consumer goods across the spectrum, even though it could also be inflationary.
2. Advances – i) All non-interest bearing Advances have been abolished; ii) Regarding interest-bearing Advances, only Personal Computer Advance and House Building Advance (HBA) have been retained. HBA ceiling has been increased to Rs 25 lakhs from the present Rs 7.5 lakhs.
3. Pension – The Commission recommends a revised pension formulation for civil employees including CAPF personnel as well as for Defence personnel, who have retired before 01.01.2016. This formulation will bring about parity between past pensioners and current retirees for the same length of service in the pay scale at the time of retirement. The 7th Pay Commission received many grievances relating to New Pension System (NPS). It has recommended a number of steps to improve the functioning of NPS. It has also recommended establishment of a strong grievance redressal mechanism.
4. Performance Related Pay – The Commission has recommended introduction of the Performance Related Pay (PRP) for all categories of Central Government employees, based on quality Results Framework Documents, reformed Annual Performance Appraisal Reports and some other broad Guidelines. TheCommission has also recommended that the PRP should subsume the existing Bonus schemes.
5. New Pay Structure – Considering the issues raised regarding the Grade Pay structure and with a view to bring in greater transparency, the present system of pay bands and grade pay has been dispensed with and a new pay matrix has been designed. Grade Pay has been subsumed in the pay matrix. The status of the employee, hitherto determined by grade pay, will now be determined by the level in the pay matrix. The rate of Annual Increment is being retained at 3 percent.
6. Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) – i) Performance benchmarks for MACP have been made more stringent from “Good” to “Very Good”; ii) The Commission has also proposed that annual increments not be granted in the case of those employees who are not able to meet the benchmark either for MACP or for a regular promotion in the first 20 years of their service;
iii) No other changes in MACP recommended.
7. Military Service Pay (MSP) – The Military Service Pay, which is a compensation for the various aspects of military service, will be admissible to the Defence forces personnel only. As before, Military Service Pay will be payable to all ranks up to and inclusive of Brigadiers and their equivalents.
8. Short Service Commissioned Officers – Short Service Commissioned Officers will be allowed to exit the Armed Forces at any point in time between 7 and 10 years of service, with a terminal gratuity equivalent of 10.5 months of reckonable emoluments. The Seventh Pay Commission also says they will further be entitled to a fully funded one year Executive Programme or a M.Tech. programme at a premier Institute to better their prospects in later life.
9. Allowances – The Commission has recommended abolishing 52 allowances altogether. Another 36 allowances have been abolished as separate identities, but subsumed either in an existing allowance or in newly proposed allowances. Allowances relating to Risk and Hardship will be governed by the proposed Risk and Hardship Matrix. a. Risk and Hardship Allowance: Allowances relating to Risk and Hardship will be governed by the newly proposed nine-cell Risk and Hardship Matrix, with one extra cell at the top, viz., RH-Max to include Siachen Allowance.
10. Financial Implications – The total financial impact in the FY 2016-17 is likely to be Rs 1,02,100 crore, over the expenditure as per the “Business As Usual” scenario. Of this, the increase in pay would be Rs 39,100 crore, increase in allowances would be Rs 29,300 crore and increase in pension would be Rs 33,700 crore. In percentage terms the overall increase in pay & allowances and pensions over the “Business As Usual” scenario will be 23.55 percent. Within this, the increase in pay will be 16 percent, increase in allowances will be 63 percent, and increase in pension would be 24 percent.