New Delhi, Feb 21: Committee on allowances, headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, will submit its report tomorrow, claims National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra. Central government employees were expecting the report to be tabled by Monday. However, the committee delayed the submission due to unspecified reasons. The report would pave the way for the implementation of hiked allowances as per the revised 7th Pay Commission recommendations. (Update: Committee on Allowances to submit report today, hike in HRA expected)
“Government has made no announcement yet. But the report by Committee on allowances would be tabled tomorrow,” Shiv Gopal Mishra said, while speaking exclusively to India.com. On being asked whether the government would make an announcement in relation to the arrears on allowances, he replied, “Let us see what comes out of the report. We are expecting the hike in allowances, as per our demands. We have to wait and see whether the government makes an announcement on arrears as well.”
The committee on allowances was formed in July 2016, after central government employees raised several anomalies related to the 7th Pay Commission report submitted by Justice (retd) AK Mathur. The 7CPC report had recommended the abolition of 51 existing allowances, and subsumption of 37 others of the total 191 allowances.
The major point of grievance was the reduction in Housing Rent Allowance (HRA) offered to central government employees. As per the 6th Pay Commission report, the HRAs provided were 30 per cent, 20 per cent, 10 per cent for employees living in ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’ category towns/cities. However, the 7th Pay Commission report decreased the allowances to 24, 16 and 8 per cent of the basic pay.
Reduction in HRA has irked a major section of central government employees, who reside in rented accommodations. A section of the aggrieved employees have blamed the top bureaucracy for the delay in HRA hike. “Naturally, the common central government employees are more affected by the delay in allowance hike. The top bureacrats don’t take higher allowances, therefore, they are not interested in the hike,” Mishra said.
Apart from the hike in allowances, central government employees have also demanded Centre to provide arrears on the allowances. Since the date of implementation of 7th Pay Commission was fixed as January 1, 2016, employees have demanded the release of arrears on allowances as well.
Although the government provided arrears on basic pay while hiking the salaries on July 1, indications have been made that no arrears would be released on allowances. NJCA has confirmed that the employee unions would launch protest across the nation if the allowances are hiked, without the arrears. “Arrears are unlikely, but protests would be launched if they fail to release (the arrears),” Mishra said.
The date of allowances hike is reported to be April 1. NJCA claims, through its sources, that the government would be implementing the allowance hike from April 1. “It is most likely that the government announces the hike by April 1,” Mishra confirmed.