New Delhi, May 16: The representatives of the central government employees are expected to meet the Finance Ministry officials to seek update on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission. At the meeting, the union leaders are likely to raise the issue of house rent allowance (HRA) and arrears on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission. It is believed some major announcement would be made on basic pay, HRA and arrears on allowances under the 7th Pay Commission. The delegation of the union leaders are also expected to discuss hike in basic pay under the 7th Pay Commission. (Update: Committee on Allowances report to get clearance by May or June; reduction in HRA likely)

The National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), the consolidated body of employee unions that has been leading the negotiations related to 7th Pay Commission, has been demanding arrears on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission from January 2016. The NJCA is also against the reduction of the HRA recommended by the 7th Pay Commission from existing 10, 20 and 30 per cent to 8, 24 and 16 respectively. Accepting the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission, the government had approved the increase in minimum pay Rs 18,000 from existing Rs 7,000. But the central government employees, but the central government employees want minimum basic pay to be Rs 24,000 per month.

The central government employees have been waiting for the higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission since July last year. The Committee on Allowances, which examined the 7th Pay Commission recommendations on allowances, submitted its report to the finance ministry on April 27. The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS), led by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, will meet soon to screen the Committee on Allowances’ report.

The 7th Pay Commission, led by Justice (retd) A K Mathur, had suggested the abolition of 52 out of the 196 existing allowances, apart from subsuming 36 smaller allowances. The 7CPC panel had also reduced the house rent allowance (HRA) from existing 10, 20 and 30 per cent to 8, 24 and 16 respectively, after which the government formed the Committee on Allowances to look into the anomalies. According to the government, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa led Committee on Allowances has suggested some modifications in some allowances that are applicable universally to all employees as well as certain other allowances which apply to specific employee categories.