Central government employees were left disappointed today as the Ministry of Finance reiterated its stance on not establishing the 8th Pay Commission in Parliament. Responding to a question from Rajya Sabha MP Ram Nath Thakur, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary stated that there is "no such proposal under consideration" and the issue of implementing Para 1.22 of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations was not even discussed by the Union Cabinet.
The minister was replying to the question "whether no proposal for setting up the Eighth Central Pay Commission is under consideration because the Government is not in a position to bear the burden of pay commission". However, the reply mentions that "No such proposal is under consideration of the Government", without elaborating the reason.
Considering the high inflation rates, this statement comes amidst rising demands from employee unions for salary revisions. Para 1.22 of the 7th Pay Commission report recommended reviewing the fitment factor after five years, which would have potentially led to increased salaries. However, the government has refrained from implementing this suggestion.
The Minister's response did not elaborate on the specific reasons behind the decision. While he denied concerns about the financial burden, the ambiguity leaves room for speculation. Some experts suggest the government might be waiting for a more opportune moment, possibly closer to the 2024 elections, to announce the 8th Pay Commission for political benefit. Others point to potential fiscal constraints as a reason for the delay.
Central government employees, facing rising living costs, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the response. Union leaders have threatened protests and further agitations if the government ignores their demands.
The lack of clarity surrounding the 8th Pay Commission is likely to keep the issue simmering until further developments emerge.