New Delhi: The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations to raise salaries of over 4.2 million central government employees and 5.2 million pensioners, which will cost at least 1.02 trillion.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley termed the development as a “historic rise" in emoluments.

“Congratulations to central government officers, employees & pensioners on a historic rise in their salary and allowances through the 7th CPC," Jaitley said on Twitter.

The details of the decision and exactly how much it has hiked the salary and pension is not known yet and a government spokesperson informed that the government will brief the media sometime later in the day.

According to the commission’s recommendations, the minimum monthly pay has been fixed at 18,000 and the maximum at 2.5 lakh for the cabinet secretary, the country’s senior-most civil servant. The commission had recommended a 23.55% increase in overall emoluments for employees.

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According to the commission’s report, the financial impact in 2016-17 will be 1.02 trillion. Of this, the increase in pay would account for 39,100 crore, increase in allowances for 29,300 crore and increase in pension for 33,700 crore.

There has been widespread demand from government employee unions to hike the minimum wage to 26,000; whether the government has accepted the demand is not known yet.

A government official said that the minimum wage has been “hiked a bit more than recommended" but did not divulge further details.

A panel of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha earlier this month submitted its report on the pay commission’s recommendations. The government had set up the panel in January.

While Union government employees will get the immediate benefit of the pay commission recommendations, public sector units and autonomous government institutions won’t benefit immediately. Separate committees decide the pay hike of these employees, keeping in mind the pay commission recommendations.

Other than the emoluments, the pay commission recommendations has also advocated for an enhanced life insurance—up to 50 lakh—for government employees up from just 120,000 prevalent now. But employees will need to contribute up to 5,000 a month for the insurance.

Separately, news agency PTI reported that the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) also got cabinet approval, paving the way for auction of 100 prospective mineral blocks.

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