There may be a slight delay in the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. However the good news is that 47 lakh central government employees are set to get a major HRA hike.
The question is whether the Cabinet will take up the recommendations of the pay panel on June 28th or not. If the Cabinet is busy with the GST roll out on June 28 then it will be taken up in the next meet on the following Wednesday, highly placed sources informed OneIndia.
HRA hike confirmed:
The government will finalise 7th pay commission allowances, including HRA later this month. National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra says that the 7th Pay Commission may be finalised by the end of this month. There is a good possibility of central government officials getting higher HRA than that recommended by the pay panel.
GST or pay commission:
Finance Ministry sources said that they are very busy with the GST roll out. Earlier there were rumours that the GST roll out would be postponed to August 1. However Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley dismissed the rumours and said that it would happen on July 1. The employee union leaders said that the Cabinet will take up the matter relating to higher allowances and HRA on June 28.
Agenda not fixed:
The agenda for the Cabinet meeting has not yet been fixed. On the June 28 meeting, the Cabinet is likely to give preference to GST, India's biggest tax reform. Sources said that time would be made for the higher allowances and HRA as per the 7th Pay Commission. However if further discussion is needed, then the issue would be taken up in the next cabinet meeting.
The Finance Ministry is likely to seek a report from each of the ministries on the grievances of the central government employees. In the report the respective ministries would put-forth the problems being faced by the central government employees. These would be taken into account before a final announcement is made.
Will it be a phased roll out:
It is not clear whether the higher allowances and HRA as per the 7th Pay Commission will be rolled out in one shot or in a phased manner. The centre would take into account the burden on the exchequer. Sources said that the government does not want to delay the matter and hence is doing its best for a one time roll out. Moreover there is a concern following the IB report which states that the unrest is growing among the central government employees. The centre would not want to take chances. With the GST roll out round the corner, the centre cannot afford a mass strike by the Central Government employees.