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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the long-pending revision of salaries of High Court and Supreme Court judges and the wage policy for the 8th round of negotiations for employees in Central Public Sector Enterprises.
Addressing a press conference, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Cabinet had decided to hike the salary, gratuity and pension of the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts in line with recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.
The proposed increase in the salary and allowances will benefit 31 judges of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice of India, and 1079 judges of various HCs. Besides, approximately 2500 retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts will benefit on account of revision of pension and gratuity.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Cabinet had also given its approval for setting up the 15th Finance Commission. “The Terms of Reference for the Commission will be notified in due course of time,” Jaitley said.
Besides, the Cabinet also gave its nod to the signing of a deal between India and Russia on cooperation in combating terrorism and organised crime, a deal between with Philippines on mutual assistance in customs matters and India’s membership for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The EBRD membership will not only enhance India’s international profile and promote its economic interests, but will also boost investment opportunities.
The agreement with the Philippines will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
The agreement with Russia on cooperation will be signed during the upcoming visit by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Moscow from November 27 to November 29. “We signed an important agreement with Russia on combating terrorism & combating organised crime,” ANI quoted Prasad as saying.
The Cabinet also gave a green light to the continuation of a scheme on research and training programmes in Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs for another 3 years and would provide a grant-in-aid of Rs 18 crore. It also approved the expansion of the umbrella scheme, ‘Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women’, and the introduction of a new scheme ‘Mahila Shakti Kendra’, which will empower rural women through community participation.
The expansion of the umbrella scheme “Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women” aims at improving the child sex ratio and ensuring survival, protection, and education of the girl child. It will also provide an interface to rural women to approach the government for availing various entitlements.
According to the wage policy, the management of the CPSEs would be free to negotiate wage revision for employees where the periodicity of wage settlement of 5 years or 1 years “expired generally” on December 31, 2016. No budgetary support for any wage increase shall be provided by the government and the entire financial implication would be borne by the CPSEs from their internal sources.
In those CPSEs for which the government has approved restructuring/revival plan, the wage revision will be done as per the provisions of the approved restructure/revval plan only. The management of the concerned CPSes will have to ensure that negotiated scales of pay do not exeed the existing scales of pay of executives/officers and non- unionised supervisors of respective CPSEs.
The management of cases where the five-year periodicity is followed have to ensure that negotiated scales of pay for two successive wage negotiations do not exceed the existing scales of pay of executives/officers and non-unionized supervisors of respective cases for whom 10 year periodicity is being followed. CPSEs must also ensure that any increase in wages after negotiations does not result in an increase in prices of their goods and services.
When asked whether the government was delaying the winter session because of the Gujarat Assembly Elections, Jaitley said they would ensure that a sitting was held. “We are going to ensure that a regular winter session is held but we will make sure that the Parliament session and election dates don’t overlap,” ANI quoted him as saying.
(With agency inputs)