7th Pay Commission : Committee on Allowances likely to submit report today – HRA Revision expected
After much debate and protest by government employees on some of recommendations made by the 7th Pay Commission on allowances, the government had formed a committee to review the same.
Government employees have been waiting to hear from the central government on allowances since the cabinet cleared the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission in June last year.
The Committee on Allowances, headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, is expected to present its review report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today.
The 7th pay commission had recommended reducing the house rent allowance (HRA) to 24 per cent of basic pay as against the 30 per cent of basic pay employees were drawing under the Sixth Pay Commission.
According to some reports, the Committee on Allowances has recommended the current HRA slab, which is 30 per cent of basic pay, for metros. An announcement on the same is expected soon.
Allowances form a significant chunk of government employees’ salary, and therefore when the pay commission recommended slashing some while merging others, protests erupted.
The 7th Pay Commission recommended abolishing 53 of the current 196 allowances meant for employees while merging a few others.
The pay commission’s recommendation of a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay is the lowest in 70 years. A further reduction in allowances meant earning the ire of nearly 50 lakh Central government employees.
Though the report may be submitted today, “A decision is likely to be announced after the State assembly elections get over,” said a senior official. The entire exercise of State polls will get completed by March 11.
Sources indicated that the committee has recommended higher house rent allowance could be increased to offset the higher cost of living.
However, the revised structure for allowances is likely to be implemented from April 1, to ensure that it does not have any impact on the government’s finances this fiscal.
An official said the impact of the higher allowances has already been factored in the Union Budget 2017-18, which has increased the allocation for allowances (other than travel expenses) by seven per cent.
Source: India Today
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