The government-appointed Sixth Pay Commission is due to announce its recommendations on the magnitude of wage and pension hikes for central government employees. Assuming that the Sixth Pay Commission announces a hike in salaries and pension slightly lower than that announced under fifth pay commission, we believe that that the total central government salaries and pension payments could increase by about 0.4% of GDP (Rs300 bn) to 2.5% in F2009.
The combined wage and pension costs of the state governments to rise by about Rs900 to Rs1000 billion spread over the next 2-3 years. Adding to the woes is the recent farm loan relief spending and the pay hike impact will decidedly reverse the six-year trend of reduction in government deficit.
Be prepared to face a Indian Donwgrade on the Macro Economic Front.