New Delhi, Apr 10: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had formed the Committee on Allowances in July last year to look into the provision of higher allowances other than dearness allowance for central government employees under the 7th Pay Commission. It’s been almost nine months and the Committee on Allowances is yet to submit its report to the Finance Ministry. About 47 lakh Central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners have been waiting for higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission since last nine months. The government only hiked basic pay of the central government employees as per the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, but higher allowances have been delayed due to anomalies raised by employees’ unions.
“Pessimism has gripped central government employees and all sections of workforce are disappointed. Some may express the disappointment, some may not. Be it defence personnel, engineers, technicians, all are disappointed,” said National Joint Council of Action convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra. Latest reports suggested that the Committee on Allowances has held conclusive meeting with representatives of the central government employees’ unions and is most likely to submit report its report on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission this week.
Shiv Gopal Mishra, who attended a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary on March 28, also said the Committee on Allowances is expected to submit its report on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission this week. “The committee had not submitted its final report and there are chances that it may be submitted by weekend. Only after which we can expect some major announcement,” Mishra told India.com.
The Ashok Lavasa led panel held a final meeting on with central government employees on April 6. Though there is no clarity whether consensus were reached, but the Committee on Allowances is expected to submit its report this week. Once the Lavasa panel submits its report on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission, a cabinet note will be moved in this regard and the government is expected to approve it. The government had in June accepted the recommendation of Justice A K Mathur-headed 7th Pay Commission in respect of the hike in basic pay and pension.
In the meeting on April 6, the Committee on Allowances was apprised of 14 existing allowances given by Department of Posts, Ministries of Railways and Defence. The issue of Housing Rent Allowance (HRA) was also discussed in the final meeting. Central government employees have demanded the Centre to implement higher allowances along with arrears from January 2016. Centre is yet to confirm whether the allowance would be hiked with retrospective effect, considering its impact on the exchequer. The major point of grievance among central government employees was the reduction in Housing Rent Allowance (HRA), but they also want government to increase basic pay from Rs 18,000 to Rs 26,000.
The 7th Pay Commission had recommended abolition of 51 allowances and subsuming 37 others out of 196 allowances, which triggered resentment among central government employees. The hike in basic pay and pension for central government employees and pensioners has been made effective from January 1, 2016 but the they are still awaiting for the higher allowances.