7th Pay Commission report on revised allowances: The long wait of over 4.9 million Central government employees for updates on higher allowances, recommended by the 7th Pay Commission, may end now as the Union Cabinet is likely to take its call on it in its meeting today. The meeting will be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to sources. It may be noted that the 7th CPC had recommended that of a total of 196 allowances, 52 be abolished altogether and 36 be abolished as separate identities by subsuming them in another allowance.
Whatever be the case, the Central government employees have been waiting for updates on higher allowances for weeks, ever since the Committee on Allowances – headed by Ashok Lavasa and constituted by the Ministry of Finance to examine the Seventh Pay Commission report recommendations on allowances – submitted its proposals in the last week of April. Following this, the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS), set up to screen the 7th CPC recommendations, was reportedly set to discuss the recommendations of the Lavasa Committee and firm up the proposal for approval of the Cabinet in the second half of May itself. However, the suspense over update continues as the Union Cabinet is yet to take a decision on this matter.
An FE Bureau report had recently said that over 4.9 million Central government staff may start receiving revised allowances, including HRA, from July 18. It said that the delay in disbursal of the revised allowances has saved the exchequer Rs 2,200 crore a month or Rs 40,000 crore cumulatively since January 1, 2016, but the government might partly compensate employees for this with a more generous HRA than recommended by the panel.
Government employees, however, seem to be both anxious and furious as the government is yet to make any formal announcement in this regard. And until that happens, nothing can be said for sure, they say.
It may be noted that the decision to set up the Committee on Allowances was taken in view of significant changes recommended by the 7th CPC in the allowances structure. Based on such extensive consultations and detailed examination, the Committee had suggested certain modifications in the 7th CPC recommendations so as to address the concerns of the stakeholders in the context of the rationale behind the recommendations of the 7th CPC as well as other administrative exigencies. Modifications have been suggested in some allowances which are applicable universally to all employees as well as certain other allowances which apply to specific employee categories such as railway men, postal employees, scientists, defence forces personnel, doctors and nurses, etc.
It may be recalled that while recommendations of the 7th CPC on pay and pension were implemented with the approval of Cabinet, allowances continue to be paid at old rates. After consideration by the E-CoS, the proposal for implementation of 7th CPC recommendations on allowances. after incorporating the modifications suggested by the Committee on Allowances in its report, was set to be placed before the Cabinet for approval.