New Delhi : The Union Cabinet is expected to approve higher allowances to government employees under the 7th Pay Commission if it takes up the agenda in their meeting at 5 PM today. While it is likely that the wait for a confirmation on allowances structure under 7th Pay Commission could finally end, the cloud long going suspense if the House Rent Allowance (HRA) at 30 per cent, 20 percent and 10 percent of Basic pay would be retained, still hovers over the central government employees. Despite the fact that the Empowered Committee of Secretaries has already submitted its report to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on June 1, the wait for the salary structure under the 7th Pay Commission has been endless. However, it is yet not clear if the agenda for the allowances and HRA as per the 7th Pay Commission has been fixed for the meeting.
It is expected that final decision on 7th Pay Commission would be taken on Wednesday, June 28, as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley discussed allowances with Prime Minister Narendra Modi before he left for the three-nation tour to the United States, Portugal, and the Netherlands. The Union Cabinet was expected to take a final decision on 7th Pay Commission last week but it got delayed since Prime Minister went on a foreign tour to meet the US President Donald Trump.
While the government employees expect that the HRA would be retained at 30 per cent, 20 per cent, and 10 per cent, it has been reported that the House Rent Allowance is likely to be kept at 24 per cent, 16 per cent and 8 per cent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively, as recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. In the 6th Pay Commission, the HRA was kept at 30 per cent, 20 per cent, and 10 per cent.
Under the 7th Pay Commission, the HRA was brought down along with axing 52 allowances out of a total of 196 allowances. The 7th Pay Commission recommended that 52 allowances should be discontinued and 36 other allowances be merged with the bigger ones. Apart from the reduction in the House Rent Allowances, the 7th Pay Commission committee also recommended a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay which is the lowest in last 70 years.
The central government employees have demanded that basic salary should be raised from Rs 18,000 to Rs 24,000 under the 7th Pay Commission. In fact, revised higher allowances haven't been paid and the central government employees have demanded arrears with the new allowances.
Some reports suggested that the government was keen on implementing the revised allowance structure from July 1, the NJCA general secretary informed the central govt employees that the roll out of the new allowances under the 7th Pay Commission would be from next month. "Things are in the process and most probably would be placed in the next Cabinet meeting," said NJCA general secretary.