New Delhi: Under pressure from the unions, the government may increase the House Rent Allowance (HRA) than that recommended by the 7th pay commission, when it may be finalised including other allowances on June 28 by the Union Cabinet, National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) convenor Shiv Gopal Mishra told The Sen Times.
The National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), a confederation of several central government employees’ unions.
It claims a membership of 3.3 million, including workers of Indian Railways, the country’s largest employer.
In June 2016, the Cabinet approved 14% pay and pension hike for central government employees and pensioners under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations with effect from January 1, 2016.
The decision on higher allowances was postponed by the Cabinet on that time because the 7th Pay Commission recommended abolition of 52 allowances and subsuming of another 36 allowances into larger existing ones out of total 196 allowances and slashing the HRA from 30, 20 and 10 per cent to 24, 16 and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.
Employee unions were opposed it, which government complied with formation of the Committee on Allowances headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa in June 2016 to review the allowances.
In April, the Committee on Allowances had examined the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on allowances, and submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The report was then taken up by the Department of Expenditure for examination, following which it was passed on to the Empowered Committee of Secretaries headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha set up to screen the 7th Pay Commission recommendations and to firm up the proposal for approval of the Cabinet.
The Empowered Committee of Secretaries has submitted its report on the the higher allowances which may be accepted, a finance ministry official said.
Based on the Empowered Committee of Secretaries’ report, the Finance Ministry prepared a Cabinet note and the issue may come up for approval by the Cabinet as early as June 28, the official added.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi already held a review meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa to discuss on issue of higher allowances on June 19 to take up it in the cabinet meeting on June 28.