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7th Pay Commission Bunching increment – Loss to Senior Employees fixed pay in the first stage of Pay matrix

7th pay Commission Bunching increment – In order to neutralize the pay fixation loss incurred by the employees in case of two or more pre-revised pay stages are fixed in the same pay in the new Pay Matrix, 7th Pay Commission recommended Bunching increments.

The method of fixing pay after providing Bunching as recommended by the Commission is as follows.
“5.1.36 Although the rationalization has been done with utmost care to ensure minimum bunching at most levels, however, if situation does arise whenever more than two stages are bunched together, one additional increment equal to 3 percent may be given for every two stages bunched, and pay fixed in the subsequent cell in the pay matrix.
5.1.37 For instance, if two persons drawing pay of ₹53,000 and ₹54,590 in the GP 10000 are to be fitted in the new pay matrix, the person drawing pay of ₹53,000 on multiplication by a factor of 2.57 will expect a pay corresponding to ₹1,36,210 and the person drawing pay of ₹54,590 on multiplication by a factor of 2.57 will expect a pay corresponding to ₹1,40,296. Revised pay of both should ideally be fixed in the first cell of level 15 in the pay of ₹1,44,200 but to avoid bunching the person drawing pay of ₹54,590 will get fixed in the second cell of level 15 in the pay of ₹1,48,500.”

On implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations, Finance Ministry issued Office Memorandum No.1-6/2016-IC dated 07.09.2017.  The recommendation on bunching increment was accepted by Govt as such.  The relevant portion of this OM reads as follows.
“It has been decided that in cases where in revision of pay, the pay of Government servants drawing pay at two or more stages in pre-revised Pay Band and Grade Pay or scale, as the case may be, get fixed at same Cell in the applicable Level in the new Pay Matrix, one additional increment shall be given for every two stages bunched and the pay of Government servant drawing higher pay in pre-revised structure shall be fixed at the next vertical Cell in the applicable Level.
  1. For this purpose, pay drawn by two Government servants in a given Pay Band and Grade pay or scale where the higher pay is at least 3% more than the lower pay shall constitute two stages. Officers drawing pay where the difference is less than 3% shall not be entitled for this benefit.”
It could be seen that there was no condition in the said OM dated 07..09.2017 to deny the bunching increment in the case of Employees whose pre-revised pay was lesser than the pre-revised entry pay mentioned against  each level of the 7th Pay Commission new Pay Matrix.
However, after withholding all the 7th Pay Commission Pay fixation orders along with bunching increment vide Office Memorandum No.1-6/2016-lC(Pt.) dated 13.06.2017,
Finance Ministry subsequently issued office Memorandum No.1-6/2016-IC dated 03.08.2017 by inserting a new condition which was not recommended by 7th Pay Commission.
New Condition put forth by the Government in the case of Bunching increment is that since all pay stages below the Entry Pay in any Level converge to first pay stage that level. on account of a conscious decision of the 7th CPC bunching increment cannot be extended to pay stages lower than the Entry Pay indicated by the 7th CPC in the Pay Matrix.
But it ultimately denies bunching increment to many of Senior Employees who were promoted recently to next post after a long wait due to stagnation and fixed with pay at the first pay stage of new post in 7th Pay Commission pay matrix along with Junior Employees.  It is felt that Govt could have found out a via-media in such cases for granting bunching benefit instead of denying it straightaway.