Central government employees have raised concerns over announcing the higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission award, saying this may further delay in announcement which will ultimately result into their financial health.
The employees have been promised for full 7th Pay Commission award along-with higher allowances in fiscal 2016-17 as Rs 70,000 crore has been provisioned in the Union Budget 2016-17 for implementation of the Pay Commission full award for government employees, a top finance ministry official said.
The Budget document states that “the 7th Pay Commission full recommendations is to be implemented during 2016-17 fiscal.”
The report of the 7th Pay Commission was presented to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on November 19 last year with a recommendation for 14.27 per cent increase in basic pay. The overall increase in salary, allowances and pensions is 23.55%. The increase in allowances will be higher by 63% while pensions will rise 24%.
The government has given higher basic pay with arrears, effective from January 1, 2016 to its employees on the recommendations of the 7th pay commission but referred hike in allowances other than dearness allowance to the ‘Committee on Allowances’ headed by the Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa for examination as The 7th pay commission had recommended for abolishing 51 allowances and subsuming 37 others out of 196 allowances.
It compelled the the central government employees to get the allowances according to the 6th Pay Commission recommendations until issuing of higher allowances notification.
The ‘Committee on Allowances’ has finalized the report on the allowances in October, however the government gave extension the committee till February 22, 2017 to submit its report.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise decision on November 8 to scrap high-value banknotes had upset preparations for higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations because of the the cash crunch compels the government to extend its announcement.
Central government employees have expressed frustration at this, and are worried that the higher allowances might not be implemented in time.
In the meantime, the model code of conduct, which is currently in place for five states assemblies’ poll that bars the central government from announcing the higher allowances.
We hope, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may announce the higher allowances, most probably after ending the model code of conduct on March 8, which will cover 48 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners.