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Monday, May 29, 2017

7th Pay Commission: Will central government employees finally get to know about their allowance structure?

 BT Online   New Delhi : May 29, 2017

Central government employees who have been waiting for an update on their pay hike are pinning their hopes on a meeting of Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) scheduled on June 1. Officially confirmed by Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha, the meeting is meant to decide on recommendations over allowance structure.

For the past few weeks, central government employees have been on the tenterhooks as reports have repeatedly suggested a final decision on the 7th Pay Commission recommendations about allowances could be taken anytime soon. However, it remains to be seen when these recommendations will be finalised and submitted to the cabinet.

Meanwhile, a report on OneIndia says that the final draft of the allowance structure is likely to be formulated by the E-CoS in a meeting today. Although not confirmed by government sources, the meeting is supposed to focus on keeping HRA rates as demanded by the central government employees. Increase in basic pay and payment of arrears on revised allowance rates are also expected to be feature in the agenda.

The 7th Pay Commission proposed to bring HRA rates down to 24 per cent, 16 per cent and 8 per cent for XYZ cities respectively, as opposed to the 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent being demanded by the staff. The E-CoS is supposed to ponder over recommendations in this regard by Committee of Allowances .

The Lavasa Committee has proposed HRA to be pegged at 27 per cent, 18 per cent and 9 per cent when DA crosses 50 per cent and 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent when more than 100 per cent. Disappointed with the pay panel recommendations, central government employees and pensioners are hoping Lavasa Committee to bring about some good news.

No clear signs could be seen as to whether the E-CoS will adhere to the Lavasa Committee recommendations, or not. The Committee was formed under Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa to screen the recommendations made by the pay panel regarding allowance structure.

The 7th Pay Commission has suggested radical changes in allowances, many of which were not taken well by the central government employees. It had suggested that 52 allowances out of a total of 196 should be abolished completely and 36 others should be subsumed under existing allowances.

Once the recommendations are finalised, the findings of E-CoS will be consolidated during the meeting and June 1 before sending to the Union Cabinet for their approval on the same day.

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