ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

7th Pay Commission: Why are Govt Employees not happy?

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strike.jpgOn an average pay commission hikes are done every 10 years. Thus 70 years since independence equals 7 pay commissions roughly. When I read that 7th Pay Commission recommendations were being accepted and it will cost Govt around 1lac crore per year (0.7% of GDP), I thought it was a bonanza for Govt employees. Average pay hike is 23.5%. But I am hearing about resentment among junior employees, non-IAS civil servants and defense personnel w.r.t the pay hike. Most of us would be confused as to the reason. Let me demystify.

  1. The resentment is always there as the union leaders want to give an impression that they are fighting for more for the employees.
  2. Govt. improved upon 6th Pay Commission recommendations in 2008. (And hence same was expected this time, given the fact that Govt. employees form the core of the vote bank for BJP.
  3. It was a wrong time for the announcement. Dal/vegetable prices are at all time high at this time of the year. Hence feeling is that pay hike would go mostly towards inflation. This is not the case in reality. Govt. could have chosen a better time when new crop came in and prices were down.
  4. Entry level basic pay has been hiked from 7000/- to 18000/-. Unions demand more. But it’s also unjustified demand. Commission concluded that entry level Govt. employees are already getting better than corresponding private sector ones. Hence entry level pay hike %age is not as high as was expected.
  5. Junior level employees (Drivers etc.) want more. But as commission concluded, a Govt. driver gets 30000/- now, while market cost of a driver is around 15000/-. How high can we pay for the same job? Hence it’s wrong to blame the commission and Govt. here.
  6. Resentment is that higher posts people (including IAS cartel) are earning huge as compared to junior and mid level employees. Their hike was highest, around 25%, while junior employees got the smallest 14%. This resentment can be justified to an extent. IAS lobby are the one calling the shots, the exclusive golfers club as some call it. But then these are the brightest people available. Even in private jobs, salaries are skewed towards top level jobs as agree to it or not, there is a fight to get best people, which are a scarce resource. Govt. could have done some parity to preempt this however.
  7. Defense personnel are left behind. With the pay commission recommendations, allowances for civilian employees have become more than defense personnel is few cases. This could have been avoided. For example, hardship allowance an army officer will get for serving in Siachen is less than that of a civilian working there.

Mostly the resentment is that hike is skewed towards the top. Govt. has form committees to address the demands, as is the norm. I feel once the employees will get increased salary in July, most of the anger will go away and smiles would be back. The fact is as salary base increases %age hikes get smaller. Same happens in private sector. So %age hike in 7th pay commission might look less than that of 6th. But 1lack crore bonanza is huge when compared to paltry 20k crore by 6th pay commission.

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Written by arpitgarg

July 3, 2016 at 3:57 pm

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