The wait for allowances for government employees is getting longer with each passing day and it now seems that the announcement may not come on April 1.
The Committee on Allowances, headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, is yet to finalise its report on the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the Committee on Allowances sought comments from the ministries of defence, railways and posts on 14 allowances.
The Ashok Lavasa-led committee has been tasked with reviewing the recommendations made by the Seventh Pay Commission for allowances. The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended abolition of 53 of the 196 allowances, and subsuming 36 other allowances into larger ones.
HERE IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE LASAVA PANEL REPORT:
- According to reports, the 14 allowances on which the Committee on Allowances sought comments were not factored in previously and the concerned ministries have been asked to give their views on what is to be done with them.
- These allowances include accidental allowance, outstation detention allowance, trip allowance, and ghat allowance. The Ashok Lavasa panel will finalise its report once it receives the comments from the concerned ministries. Another meeting on the allowances is expected to take place soon.
- If reports are to be believed, the Narendra Modi government is keen to give revised allowances to employees from the next fiscal starting April 1. It will take a call on arrears in case the rollout is delayed, said reports.
- The Committee on Allowances was constituted in July last year following protests by government employees over the recommendations made under the Seventh Pay Commission. The Seventh Pay Commission recommended axing or merging of several allowances such as washing, shorthand, haircut, cycle, soap, spectacle among others.
- The Ashok Lavasa panel was given four months to submit its report but the deadline was later extended to February 22, 2017. Speculations were rife that once the Assembly elections in five states are over and the model code of conduct is lifted, the Narendra Modi government would make an announcement on higher allowances.
- One of major concern for employees was the Seventh Pay Commssion recommending decreasing the house rent allowance (HRA) by 2-6 per cent depending on type of cities. As per the pay commission, the HRA in metros should be reduced to 24 per cent from 30 per cent.
- However, various reports suggest that the Committee on Allowances is expected to view the subject in favour of employees and is likely to recommend against altering the existing HRA drawn by employees. At its next meeting, the committee will take a final call on the HRA as well.