NEW DELHI: The central government employees have been let down by "inadequate" pay hike and it is a "jumla" for the country's defence personnel who feel "cheated and ignored", leading to discontent among them, Congress said today.
"98 lakh central government employees feel disillusioned, let down and short-changed by the lopsided and inadequate hike in salaries and allowances by Modi government in these times of runaway inflation and all-round increase in prices," party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised One Rank-One Pension for our forces and resolution of all other issues.
Armed forces personnel now realise that this entire rhetoric was a mere "jumla" (gimmick), he said in a statement.
"Our frontline defence warriors, armed forces have been treated shabbily and shoddily by Modi government in implementing the 7th Pay Commission. Naturally, our defence personnel are feeling cheated and ignored leading to wide discontent," Surjewala said.
Claiming that the hike is the "lowest in the last seven decades", he said the raise in salaries and allowances is a mere 15 per cent on basic pay and not 23.5 per cent as is being wrongly claimed by the government.
"This gets even more stark when compared to the fact that 6th Pay Commission had recommended a 20 per cent hike in salaries and allowances but the then Congress government doubled it to 40 per cent. 7th Pay Commission recommended a hike of 14.29 per cent and Modi government merely raised it to a pittance of 15 per cent", the spokesperson said.
He said even the ratio between the lowest and the highest salary has increased instead of the gap being narrowed. "Naturally, employees at the lower rung of the salary will suffer the most", the Congress leader said.
There are less than 50 military allowances, compared to about 90 for civilian employees. Moreover, a large number of military allowances have been subsumed into a "risk-hardship matrix", in which every military posting gets a standard allowance based on the risk and hardship profile, he said.
The Siachen Glacier, which has the highest degree of both risk and hardship, brings soldiers posted there an allowance of Rs 31,500 per month. In contrast a civilian bureaucrat from the all India services draws 30 per cent of his salary as hardship allowance when posted anywhere outside what officials regard as a comfort zone, Surjewala said explaining the alleged disparity.
"7th Pay Commission implementation establishes the mal-intent and lack of sincerity of Modi government," he added.
For example, highest salary has increased from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2,50,000 but the lowest salary has been increased from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 only, Surjewala said.
Earlier, the ratio was 1:12. Universal demand of all parties and employees federations was for a ratio of 1:8. On the contrary, Modi government has increased the ratio to 1:14, he said.
The Congress Party has always stood with the workers who make India great, be they in the government sector or be they farmers or rural labourers, the leader claimed.