New Delhi, June 28: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the revised 7th Pay Commission recommendations in relation to allowances. As per the amendments, the House Rent Allowance (HRA) would be increased to 10, 20, 30 per cent if Dearness Allowance (DA) crosses 25 per cent of the basic pay. The Pay Commission had originally recommended the HRA to be increased only if the DA crosses 50 per cent mark.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also confirmed that HRA for those drawing minimum pay (Group D workers), would be pegged at 10, 20 , 30 per cent of the Rs 18,000, which is the minimum wage. Thus, the HRA would be no less than Rs 5400, 3600 and 1800 for category Z, Y and X cities.

The National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), which is leading the negotiation on behalf of central government employees, said the benefits of 10, 20 and 30 per cent HRA should be extended to Group C employees as well. “We laud the government’s decision to grant HRA at 10, 20, 30 per cent to those drawing minimum pay. It was based upon our demand. But we would had been happier if the same would had been granted to at least the Group C employees,” NJCA convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra told

“Except for Group C employees not being granted the benefits, we can say the Cabinet’s decision was satisfactory. Even the decision of increasing HRA when DA crosses 25 per cent, instead of 50, should be lauded. We had raised this demand in our meeting with the Cabinet Secretary,” Mishra added.

The top union leader, however, said all issues raised by employee forum are not yet settled. “We are still expecting a positive decision on minimum wage hike and New Pension Scheme,” the NJCA chief said, further adding, “Rs 18,000 as minimum salary is not satisfactory. It should be increased. If required, we will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well.”