Saturday 15 April 2017

7th Pay Commission: Budget session over but the wait for allowances is not  | New Delhi, April 13, 2017

The second part of the Budget session ended on Wednesday and there has been no announcement on revised allowances for government employees under the Seventh Pay Commission.

According to reports, the Ashok Lavasa committee--constituted to review the recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission--is yet to submit its report to the Narendra Modi government.

It is believed that the Ashok Lavasa committee could take another week to submit its report on allowances.

The government had cleared the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations in June last year. It has been nearly 10 months, and nearly 50 lakh Central government employees are still waiting to get some good news on allowances.

  1. The Seventh Pay Commission recommended abolishing 53 of the 196 allowances that government employees get. The pay commission also suggested merging 36 smaller allowances with the bigger ones.
  2. Among the Seventh Pay Commission's recommendations was to reduce the House Rent Allowance (HRA) by 2-6 per cent depending on the type of cities. For metros, the pay commission suggested bringing down the HRA from 30 per cent to 24 per cent.
  3. The House Rent Allowance or HRA forms a sizeable part of a government's employees salary and the Seventh Pay Commission's recommendation did not go down well with them.
  4. Following protests by employees, the Narendra Modi government decided to form a panel under Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa to review the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.
  5. The Committee on Allowances was formed in July last year and was given four months to submit its report to Finance Ministry. The deadline for report submission was later extended to February 22, 2017.
  6. Speculations were rife that the government would make an announcement after the Assembly elections in the five states were over and the model code of conduct would be lifted.
  7. However, no announcement were made on revised allowances. Employees were hopeful that the government would take a decision on allowances before March 31 so that they can draw hike salaries from the beginning of the new financial year.
  8. Yet again, it was known that the Committee on Allowances could not submit its report as it had sought comments from ministries of defence, railways and posts on 14 allowances.
  9. Now, the second part of the Budget session is over but government employees' wait for revised allowances seems far from over.

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