Over 1 crore to benefit from 7th Pay Commission: Jaitley

New Delhi:Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that over one crore central government employees and pensioners will benefit by the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission's recommendations. "Among the beneficiaries include 47 lakh government employees and 53 lakh pensioners. Out of this there will be 14 lakh serving defence personnel and 18 lakh pensioners among the defence personnel," Jaitley told reporters here after the cabinet had approved the recommendaions. He said the National Democratic Alliance government has taken the decision to implement the report of the 7th Pay Commission much faster than in the past. "The decision to implement the Fifth Pay Commission (report) was taken after 19 months while for the 6th Pay Commission it was 32 months," he said. As regard the 7th Pay Commission, he said, a panel of secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary had studied the report and the government had decided to implement the recommendations with effect from January 1, 2016. "This will come be effective from January 1, 2016," he said. Jaitley also said the Central government on Wednesday approved four-laning of three major highways, one each in Punjab, Odisha and Maharashtra. "These projects include about 80 km roads between Phagwara and Roopnagar in Punjab, one in Odisha and the third one between Aurangabad and Tilwani in Maharashtra," he said.