7th Pay Commission: Suspense Over Higher Allowances
New Delhi: Suspense over when would be higher allowances announced even one month 11 days passed after the ‘Committee on Allowances’ submitted its review report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitey.
The higher allowances were not part of the agenda for the union cabinet meeting yesterday because Finance Minister Arun Jaitley embarked on a four-day visit to Paris on Tuesday.
The higher allowances including HRA under 7th Pay Commission recommendations is now expected to be placed in the next cabinet meeting after Jaitley will return to India on June 10 from Paris.
The 7th Pay Commission proposals on salary and pension had already been approved in June 2016 with effect from January 1, 2016 but central government employees are now drawing allowances at old rates.
The 7th Pay Commission had recommended that of a total of 196 allowances, 52 be abolished altogether and 36 be abolished as separate identities by subsuming them in another allowance.
Employee unions were opposed it that governments complied with formation of the Committee on Allowances headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa to review it.
The Committee on Allowances submitted its review report this year on April 27.
The report was then taken up by the Department of Expenditure for examination, following which it was passed on to Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha set up to screen the 7th Pay Commission recommendations and to firm up the proposal for approval of the Cabinet.
The Media reports said the Empowered Committee of Secretaries prepared the report on higher allowances for cabinet nod and the E-CoS dittoed the report of the committee on allowances but the report of the committee on allowances hasn’t made public.
The committee on allowances also stuck with the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on allowances, a Finance Ministry official involved with the process told The Sen Times on condition of anonymity.
The 7th Pay Commission also recommended slashing the House Rent Allowance (HRA) from 30, 20 and 10 per cent to 24, 16 and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.
The central government employees unions demanded HRA at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 percent of basic pay instead of 24, 16 and 8 percent.
They also demanded the government to implement higher allowances without further delay with effect from January 1, 2016.
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