As several associations of central government employees have announced an indefinite strike from July 11 against the "meagre" pay hike announced in the 7th Pay Commission, Centre is considering increasing the minimum pay up to Rs 20,000, informed sources said.
But employees associations say that the minimum pay should be increased to Rs 26,000.
"Increasing the minimum pay upto Rs 26,000 as demanded by the employees union is not feasible in the present situation but the government is trying to find a way out," an official told news agency IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Shivgopal Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railway Men Federation and Convenor of the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) also hinted that the government is mulling to increase the minimum pay, but said that until the government comes out with a formal proposal the strike won't be called off.
NJCA is a group 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.
It's officer-bearers met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, on June 30 to discuss the issue.
The NJCA officer-bearers will meet on July 6 to decide whether they intend to go ahead with their earlier plan to observe nationwide strike from July 11.
"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 said.
NJCA is also demanding for the withdrawal of the new national pension scheme (NPS), which came into effect from October 2004.
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), has also expressed its "dissatisfaction" at the 7th Pay Commission's recommendations.
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.