7th Pay Commission – Changes in Allowances, HRA may Get Cabinet Approval on June 28
7th Pay Commission – With Prime Minister Narendra Modi returning to India from his Washington visit and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley already back from his Russia trip, the Union Cabinet is most likely to discuss allowances for central government employees in its next meeting, which is scheduled tomorrow.
The long wait and confusion that has been prevailing among the central government employees regarding 7th pay commission is likely to come to an end on June 28. This meeting is a very important one and the two leaders are meeting after returning from their respective foreign tours.
Reports also suggest that House Rent Allowance (HRA), which constitutes a substantial part of the central government employees’ salaries, could be approved at 27 per cent of the basic pay. The pay panel called for cutting down HRA which constituted the bulk of an employee’s paycheck. The Pay Commission suggested HRA to be brought down to 24 per cent, 16 per cent and 8 per cent of the basic pay, to be paid according to the city the employee is positioned in.
Modi-Jaitley meet fixed for June 28
Sources said that the two leaders will meet on June 28. This meeting would be ahead of the regular Cabinet meeting that is scheduled to be held tomorrow. It is however unclear if the agenda for the allowances and HRA as per the 7th Pay Commission will be fixed for tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting. Since it is an issue of importance, it would be once again discussed between the PM and FM before it is finally taken to the Cabinet.
The July 5 Cabinet meeting
Sources said that the passing of the decision before the Cabinet is a mere formality. Both the PM and FM who would discuss the matter tomorrow would agree in principle that revised allowances and HRA, two issues pending for over one year now has to be cleared. Once this is done the two leaders would decide to take it up in the Cabinet meeting to be held on July 5. A source said that this is just tentative. Since the government is busy with the GST roll out, there is a chance that it may be taken up in the July meet.
July rollout confirmed
Sources said that they can say with confidence that the revised allowances will be rolled out from July 18 2017 itself. The government has decided that revised allowances must be given to central government employees who have been waiting for good news. There would be some good news on the HRA front as well. While the recommendation is that HRA be at 27 per cent, the government is likely to hike it to 30 per cent, sources indicated.
Finance Ministry statement
The Finance Ministry had said in a statement that 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 railwaymen, postal employees, scientists, defence forces personnel, doctors, nurses etc.
The Committee was set up in view of significant changes recommended by the 7th Pay Commission in the allowances structure and a large number of representations received in this regard from various staff associations as well as the apprehensions conveyed by various ministries and departments. The committee, the ministry said, held extensive stakeholder consultations and detailed examination of the recommendations.