Minister of State For Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal has clarified that the allowance committee on Seventh Pay Commission has not yet submitted its report. He also said the committee will soon decide on the Seventh Pay Commission allowances. “The committee has not submitted its report to the government. The deliberations of the committee are in the final stages,” he said in reply to a question in Lok Sabha on March 10. The minister said that the government will decide on the implementation after the report is submitted by the committee.
The government had in June accepted the recommendation of Justice AK Mathur-headed Seventh Pay Commission in respect of the hike in basic pay and pension but its suggestions relating to allowances were referred to the Ashok Lavasa committee. The Seventh Pay Commission had examined a total of 196 existing allowances and, by way of rationalisation, recommended abolition of 51 allowances and subsuming of 37 allowances. The employee unions had held a final round of discussions with the Ashok Lavasa committee panel members last month.
The Union Cabinet had also constituted a separate committee for suggesting measures for streamlining the implementation of National Pension System (NPS). A top union official said that they are likely to soon hold meeting with the committee members regarding NPS later this month.
Regarding allowances, the unions have demanded HRA at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent. The Seventh Pay Commission 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, depending on type of cities.
The Seventh Pay Commission had also recommended that the rate of HRA be revised to 27 per cent, 18 per cent and 9 per cent respectively when DA crosses 50 per cent, and further revised to 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent when DA crosses 100 per cent.
The committee on Seventh Pay Commission allowances was initially given a time of four months to submit its report to the finance minister. Allowances form a significant chunk of government employees’ salary.