New Delhi: Central government employees will get higher allowances according to the 7th Pay Commission recommendations from April 1, a senior finance ministry official said.
“The employees will get their April salaries with higher allowances in accordance with the 7th Pay Commission recommendations,” he told our reporter at the finance ministry on Monday.
“Everything is decided. The Cabinet and the prime minister have to approve the Committee on Allowances’ report. The finance ministry has no reason to raise any question on the report of committee on allowances,” he added.
He said the process to implement the higher allowances would be completed ‘soon’.
The central government approved the 7th Pay Commission scale for its employees in June, offering a highest basic pay of Rs 2.5 lakh and a minimum of Rs 18,000.
The new basic pay has been given in August 2016 with arrears, effective from January 1, 2016. The allowances, however, other than dearness allowance referred to the ‘Committee on Allowances’ headed by the Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa in July 2016, for examination as the pay commission had recommended of abolishing 51 allowances and subsuming 37 others out of 196 allowances.
Accordingly, existing allowances are now paid to the employees according to the 6th Pay Commission recommendations until issuing of higher allowances notification.
The Committee on Allowances was initially given a time of four months to submit its report to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
In October last year, Ashok Lavasa was quoted by some media outlets as saying he was ready with the report.
But the government gave extension to the committee up to February 22, 2017 on the pretext of demonetisation and the government said that the cash crunch was the reason behind the delay in announcing higher allowances.
The announcement of assembly elections in five states has given another excuse for the government as it cannot announce allowances hike till the model code of conduct is in place up to March 8.
The finance ministry official said the Committee on Allowances report states the current House Rent allowance (HRA) slab, which is 30 per cent of basic pay, for metros for employees. An announcement on the same is expected soon but no hike in Transport Allowance (TPTA) for central government employees in its report and the Transport Allowance will remain the same as 6th Pay Commission recommendations.
However, the pay panel had recommended that HRA be paid at the rate of 24 per cent, 16 per cent and 8 per cent of the new basic pay for Class X (metros), Y and Z cities, respectively.