New Delhi, February 25: Almost eight months have been passed now and the Central government employees are waiting to receive higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in their paychecks. Some reports suggest that the government is likely to make an announcement on higher allowances after assembly elections results of five states which will be declared on March 11.
In June 2016, the union government approved the recommendations made by the high-powered committee on 7th Pay Commission and promised to pay higher basic pay with arrears, effective from January 1, 2016. But the hike in allowances other than the Dearness Allowances (DA) is yet to materialise.
The recommendations made by the 7th Pay Commission was wrapped up in June 2016, but more than 53 lakh central government employees are not given any assurances, as they are still waiting for payments owed them ie: higher allowances.
Some reports suggest that the delays are because the ‘Committee on Allowances’ headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa had recommended to abolish 51 allowances and subsuming 37 other allowances out of 196 allowances.
Earlier the Committee on Allowances were initially given a time of four months to submit its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. In October 2016, Ashok Lavasa was quoted by some media organisation saying he was ready with the report.
However the committee was given an extension till February 22, 2017, to submit its report in the backdrop of demonetisation and the government said that the cash crunch was the reason behind the delay in announcing the higher allowances.
Once the Assembly elections are over in five states, the government is likely to clear the nod to revise allowances. Some reports suggest that the revised allowances are expected to be effective from April 1, which marks the beginning of the new financial year.
According to The Sen Times report, which quoted a source said that the report on Committee on Allowances states the current HRA slab is 30 per cent of the basic pay for metros. An announcement on the same is expected soon.
On the other side, 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 6th Pay Commission.