New Delhi: A top government official today told The Sen Times that the higher allowances of the central government employees has been kept in “abeyance” on account of protests against demonetisation.
“The process of announcement of the higher allowances has been kept in abeyance on account of the opposition parties protests against demonetisation,” the official said.
“The opposition parties met on Monday — ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament beginning November 16 — to formulate a joint strategy to put the government on the mat on the demonetisation move. According to them that has caused great inconvenience to the people, especially the poor. The opposition parties will meet again today afternoon to finalise their plans,” he added.
However, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi justified the demonetisation move in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh on Monday. The PM said, “the poor are sleeping peacefully. This is an insult to commoners. My humble suggestion is not to hit the common people like this.”
“The PM said people of the country have supported the decision overwhelmingly but opposition parties want to sabotage it, which should be strongly countered,” parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar today said after a meeting of the BJP parliamentary board to discuss strategy for the winter session.
During the meeting, finance minister Arun Jaitley briefed functionaries about measures being taken to ease the cash crunch.
So, the finance ministry official further said “the Finance Ministry compels after receiving reports on Banks and ATMs chaos from states to keep in abeyance the higher allowances till things normalize.”
Fearing a jump in footfalls to deposit or withdraw cash following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 banknotes, the Finance Ministry is likely to scale down the the proposal of the ‘Committee on Allowances’ headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, who examine of the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission on allowances other than dearness allowance, he added.
The ‘Committee on Allowances’ has been set up on July 22 with the deadline of four months given to it by the cabinet to submit the report. It reveals that the Committee will complete its work by November 21.
However, the Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said beginning of October, “A committee headed by me is currently examining the Pay Commission’s recommendations on allowances and it will submit its report soon.”
Until acceptance of new allowances, existing allowances are to be paid according to the existing rates under the existing pay structure, says an earlier official statement issued by the finance ministry.
The source in the Finance Ministry also said that the quantum of allowances may not vary from those proposed by the 7th Pay Commission.
“The committee on allowances sticks with the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on allowances,” the official confirmed.
“The cabinet will also stick with the 7th Pay Commission recommendations on allowances like advances,” the official added.
The 4.8 million central government employees and 5.2 million pensioners got theirs arrears of basic pay and pension arising from implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in one go in August salaries and pension respectively. The hike in basic pay and pension has been made effective from January 1, 2016. The employees and pensioners also got 2 per cent Dearness allowance (DA) in new pay matrix effective from July 1, 2016.
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