The Committee on Allowances, which was formed to review the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, is likely to submit its report to the government on April 27, according to reports. This could have an impact on 50 lakh government employees who are waiting to enjoy the benefits of revised pay. The long delay in allowances has left government employees frustrated. The report is expected to be submitted to the Finance Ministry as soon as Arun Jaitley returns from the US from his five-day official visit. It is believed Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa who is heading the panel has already finalised the report.
Here's a background to the Seventh Pay Commission story:
The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended abolishing 53 of the 196 allowances, and subsuming 36 other allowances. It also recommended slashing the House Rent Allowance (HRA)--for metros, commission recommended bringing down the HRA from 30 per cent to 24 per cent.
The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended the rate of House Rent Allowance (HRA) be kept at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.
Government employees protested the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, following which the Narendra Modi government formed a committee under Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa to review the suggestions.
The Committee on Allowances was constituted in July and after an extended deadline was asked to submit its report to the government by February 22, 2017.
That the Ashok Lavasa-led committee had missed its deadline was revealed by Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal while replying to a question on Seventh Pay Commission in Parliament.
It was reported that the Committee on Allowances could not submit its report as it had sought comments from various ministries on 14 allowances.
Speculations are rife that the Committee on Allowances is likely to recommend against reducing HRA. Although, a few reports had suggested that the committee is unlikely to vote for a hike in transport allowance.