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7th Pay Commission: 33 lakh government employees threaten to go on strike

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New Delhi, July 2

With widespread resentment against the “meagre” pay hike announced in the 7th Pay Commission, as many as 33 lakh central government employees are threatening to go on strike from July 11.

“They have fixed the minimum wage at a meagre Rs 18,000 in the 7th Pay Commission. In the last Pay Commission, the basic pay was Rs 7,000. They multiplied it by 2.57 (fitment formula) and came to Rs 18,000. We are demanding 3.68 fitment formula,” Shivgopal Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railway Men Federation and Convenor of National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), told IANS.

NJCA is a front formed by six government staff unions, including Confederation of Central Government Employees (CCGE), All India Defence Employee Federation and National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Association, to oppose the hikes given by the 7th Pay Commission.

“As many as 33 lakh government employees, excluding the defence personnel, will go on strike if we do not get some kind of assurance from the government to reconsider the decision. The major contention is on the minimum wage, which we are demanding to be Rs 26,000,” K.K.N. Kutty, President of CCGE and general secretary of national coordination committee of pensioners association, told IANS.

“We had a meeting with a group of ministers, including the Home Minister (Rajnath Singh), Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) and Railway Minister (Suresh Prabhu) on the evening of June 30. They said it will be considered and will be referred to some committee,” said Mishra.

“We are waiting to hear back on this from the government by July 4 evening or July 5. In our meeting, it was only a verbal commitment. If the government gives us specific details like which committee will review, etc. then we will defer the strike. We have a meeting on July 5 to decide on the strike,” Kutty said.

“We had met the government on June 9, and suggested various improvements in the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations. But the government has not given any heed to whatever improvements we had proposed. They have given same hike as suggested by 7th Pay Commission,” C. Srikumar, General Secretary, All India Defence Employees Federation, told IANS.

Srikumar contends that the prices of essential commodities considered by the Seventh Pay Commission itself were faulty, which has resulted in the meagre rise.

“Price considered of essential commodities by pay commission is not right. They have taken dal price at Rs 97. Where do you get dal for Rs 97?” he said.

The NJCA is also demanding for the withdrawal of the new national pension scheme (NPS), which came into effect from October 2004.

“A lady employee, who got the job after her husband’s death, retired after 12 years of service. She comes under the new NPS scheme as she joined service after 2004. She gets Rs 960 pension per month,” Srikumar said.

However while the fate of the strike is still unknown, a central government junior staffer on the condition of anonymity told IANS: “I don’t think much will come out of the strike. The only thing the government might do is increase the allowances slightly, that’s it.”

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the parent body of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has also expressed its “dissatisfaction” at the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.

“A huge gap has been created between the minimum and the maximum wage after the government approved the Seventh Pay Commission Report’s recommendation,” BMS general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay told IANS earlier.

However, BMS is not expected to go on strike as it is not a part of the NJCA.

The Union Cabinet has decided to constitute three separate committees, including one to look into the anomalies likely to arise out of enforcement of the commission’s report.

“The two separate committees constituted includes for suggesting measures for streamlining the implementation of National Pension System (NPS) and to look into anomalies likely to arise out of implementation of the Commission’s Report,” said an official statement earlier.

The cabinet approved the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations for central government employees on July 29, which will impact some 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners.

(IANS)

 

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Special ‘angavastram’ awaits PM Modi in Varanasi

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Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nov 29: A weaver from Varanasi has woven a special silk ‘angavastram’ for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit his constituency on Monday.

The ‘angavastram’ carries the Buddhist mantra “Buddham Sharanam Gachchami, Dhammam Sharanam Gachchami, Sangham Sharanam Gachchami” along with a leaf of the ‘Bodhivriksha’.

The weaver, Bachche Lal Maurya, said that he wants Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to gift the ‘angavastram’ to the Prime Minister during his visit to Varanasi on November 30.

Maurya said, “There are reports that Prime Minister Modi may go to Sarnath during his proposed visit to Varanasi, I started weaving the ‘angavastram’ with a Buddhist mantra and a leaf of ‘Bodhivriksha’ especially for him.”

Modi is likely to visit the holy site of Sarnath to watch the light and sound show which shows the transformation of prince Siddhartha into Lord Buddha, his first preaching and then chronicles his journey.

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India

Don’t want food from Badal’s supporter: Farmers tells Sirsa at Tikri

As the situation tensed up a bit, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) leader Sirsa beat a hasty retreat. The protesters soon calmed down and got busy with their other activities.

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New Delhi: SAD’s Delhi leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa on Saturday faced embarrassing situation when he went to offer ‘langar’ or community kitchen food to farmers rallying at Tikri on the Delhi-Haryana border, as protesters dubbed him a ‘chamcha’ or obsequious supporter of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

As soon as Sirsa, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President, moved towards the protesting farmers, they protested his presence and climbed on the concrete block and police barricades to raise slogans against him as he stood there with folded hands.

“Badal de chamcheyan da langar nahi chahida (we don’t want to eat langar handed over by Badal’s obsequious follower),” the farmers shouted amid sloganeering against the Centre’s farm policies.

As the situation tensed up a bit, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) leader Sirsa beat a hasty retreat. The protesters soon calmed down and got busy with their other activities.

On Saturday, a day after their stand-off with security forces over entry into Delhi, farmers from Punjab and Haryana continued to rally and shout slogans at the Tikri interstate border entry/exit point, without any interference from the policemen who preferred to look on.

Various farmer leaders addressed the protesters even as the situation was more relaxed compared with what was witnessed on Friday, as policemen armed with a water cannon and tear-gas shells remained stationed in vicinity.

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Manufacturing GVA growth in Q2 ‘surprising’: SBI Report

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New Delhi, Nov 28 : The manufacturing sector played a major role in narrowing down the India’s GDP contraction in Q2 of FY21. An SBI Ecowrap report, however, dubbed the growth in manufacturing GVA as “astonishing” as the IIP manufacturing for the same period declined by 6.7 per cent.

India’s GDP in the July-September period contracted 7.5 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The GVA in Q2 2020-21 from the manufacturing sector grew 0.6 per cent, as compared with a degrowth of 0.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The report by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India, said: “Though the whole press release is full of surprising numbers, the most astonishing number is the positive growth in manufacturing in Q2.”

He noted that despite being the worst affected sector in Q1 (due to lockdown), it is quite puzzling how manufacturing turned itself around.

The IIP manufacturing and manufacturing GVA growth are highly correlated (almost more than 0.90) and this correlation collapsed in Q2 when IIP manufacturing declined by 6.7 per cent (average of July/August/September) while manufacturing GVA grew by 0.6 per cent.

He said that one possible reason for this could be stellar corporate GVA numbers in Q2 on the back of massive purge in costs.

Further, he said that small companies, with turnover of up to Rs 500 crore, are more aggressive in cutting cost, displaying reduction in employee cost by 10-12 per cent.

“This could turn a potential headwind in future in terms of a drag on consumption. Additionally, there is evidence of inventory build-up that could act as a drag on future manufacturing growth,” said the report.

“Interestingly, government consumption expenditure has also nosedived in Q2, that is difficult to explain, as such expenditures are typically pro cyclical.”

During the July-September period, agriculture sector continued to perform well with its growth pegged at 3.4 per cent. Services remained in the negative territory, although the decline was contained as trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting showed recovery.

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