Government sets up seventh pay commission - The Times of India TNN | Feb 5, 2014, 03.14 AM IST NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday set up a four-member seventh central pay commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur. While the pay panel was announced in September, the government said its composition was now cleared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Apart from Justice Mathur, the other members include petroleum secretary Vivek Rae, who is due to retire later this month, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) director Rathin Roy and Meena Agarwal, who is currently in the finance ministry. The appointment of the pay panel, usually a major drain on the exchequer, comes weeks before the announcement of the general elections and is seen as a ploy to woo nearly 80 lakh central government employees and pensioners. A pay commission is set up every 10 years to review the salary of central government employees to take into account the impact of inflation and cost of living. In September, the finance ministry had said that the average time taken by a pay commission has been about two years and taking this into account, the recommendations of the panel are likely to be implemented from January 2016. Apart from increasing the pay scales the panel will also look at other suggestions related to working conditions and may also review the retirement age, which is current at 60 years. There is widespread demand to increase the retirement age to 62, although the move will force the government to defer hiring. The terms of reference of the seventh pay panel are, however, yet to be made public.