Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cabinet to take final call on higher allowances, HRA on June 28

The Union Cabinet is expected to take final call on proposals related to higher allowances, including HRA (House Rent Allowance), under the 7th Pay Commission, on June 28. The central government employees are likely to get higher allowances as per the 7th Pay Commission from July. However, the central government employees have been demanding arrears on higher allowances, but the government is in no mood to accept this demand. While the salaries of central government employees have been hiked as per the 7th Pay Commission, revised higher allowances haven’t been paid since July last year.

On June 28, the Cabinet would take up the proposals made by the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS), which screened the report of the Ashok Lavasa committee on higher allowances under 7th Pay Commission. If media reports are to be believed, the Ashok Lavasa led Committee on Allowances stuck with the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on higher allowances. It simply means, there could be no hike in higher allowances. The HRA under the 7th Pay Commission is likely to be kept at 27 per cent of the basic pay.
Higher Allowances:
The central government employees should not expect any big announcement on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission because the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) hasn’t suggested any hike, according to reports. Sources in the Finance Ministry also said that the quantum of allowances may not vary from those proposed by the 7th Pay Commission and the government is not bound by the findings of the Empowered Committee of Secretaries. “The central government finally decided not to give any facility to central government employees better than the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. Accordingly, the government stuck with the 7th Pay Commission recommendations on pay scales and advances and its implementation have been made forcefully,” sources in the Finance Ministry were quoted as saying.
The E-CoS has suggested to keep the HRA rate at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively, as recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. The central government employees, however, demanded to retain HRA rate at 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of Basic pay (pay in the pay band plus grade pay). A Financial Express report said the HRA in cities with population above 5 million could be 27 per cent of the basic pay. Shiv Gopal Mishra, chief of the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), leading the 7th Pay Commission negotiations with the government, also said that there is a possibility of higher HRA than that recommended by the 7th Pay Commission.
The central government employees have demanded arrears on higher allowances as well, but the government neither accepted, nor rejected their demand. Shiv Gopal Mishra was unsure whether their demands about arrears on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission will be accepted.

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