New Delhi, Apr 13: While there’s no clarity that when the Committee on Allowances will submit its report on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission,  National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra on Thursday also said that the central government employees are unsure about hike in housing rent allowance (HRA). Shiv Gopal Mishra said they are not sure whether the Committee on Allowances will raise the HRA. The major point of grievance among central government employees is the reduction in HRA under the 7th Pay Commission.

“We are not sure whether HRA would be raised to 10, 20 and 30 per cent. We are ready for negotiation, but a reasonable amount should be fixed,” Shiv Gopal Mishra said, while speaking to India.com. 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.

There had been reports that the Committee on Allowances was likely to suggest to raise HRA to 30 per cent of the basic pay as against the 24 per cent recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. The 7th Pay Commission had also recommended abolition of 52 allowances and subsuming 37 others out of 196 allowances, which triggered resentment among central government employees. “We never demanded a allowance committee. We simply demanded the review of the abolition of 52 allowances which were stuck away with one stroke of pen by the 7th Pay Commission,” said Shiv Gopal Mishra.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had formed the Committee on Allowances in July last year to look into the provision of higher allowances other than dearness allowance for central government employees under the 7th Pay Commission. It’s been almost nine months and the Committee on Allowances is yet to submit its report. About 47 lakh Central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners have been waiting for higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission since last nine months. “How long should the employees wait?” asked Mishra.