Grade Pay System to be Abolished in 7th Pay Commission: Will it Make Any Difference?
It seems like 7th Pay Commission is coming with a lot more than a raise in salary for employees of central government. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that among various recommendations of upcoming pay commission is a recommendation to fix one of the biggest things that went wrong with previous pay commission: abolition of grade pay!
If this happens, it’ll be a major step to decrease the line of difference that currently exists in the salaries of non-gazetted and gazetted officers.
The grade pay system was implemented by sixth pay commission under UPA government in 2008. What went terribly wrong with this system was the line of difference it created between salaries of non-gazetted and gazetted officers. Abolition of this system will help in balancing things a bit on both sides.
While 7th Pay Commission has also been provided suggestions by previous (sixth) pay commission to prepare its list of recommendations, it’s by no means bound to include any of those suggestions in its recommendations. There’s no rule bounding any pay commission to follow the rules, suggestions or methodologies of previous commission. Even sixth pay commission was radically different from recommendations of fifth commission, when both had been set up under same government. So whether 7th commission considers the recommendations of sixth commission or not is completely in its own hands.
And it’s a good thing. Both government and employees want the new commission to work independently, free from any interventions. That’s the only way to fix mistakes made by previous commissions. If one particular commission could split the pay grade in two classes of gazetted and non-gazetted officers, a new one should be free to completely abolish the system if it feels the need of doing so!
But abolition of pay grade is not a big thing – the ultimate thing to see will be its effect on the salaries of both non-gazetted and gazetted officers. The change should be able to fill the void between salaries of both categories of officers, thus minimizing the discontent in government departments. If things remain nearly similar even after its abolition, there’s hardly any benefit in doing so.
Abolition of grade pay hierarchy must decrease the difference in salaries of two classes if it has to be beneficial at all. How government handles it and how it works out in various departments will become clear only after 1st January 2016, when 7th Pay Commission will become effective.