Employee union officials are likely to meet top government officials later this week and among other things, allowances, including HRA, related to 7th pay commission are likely to feature in discussion, a top employee union official said. Officials from the finance ministry are likely to be also present at the meeting, he added. The Ashok Lavasa committee on allowances, which examined the 7th pay commission's recommendations on allowances, submitted its report to the finance ministry on April 27. "Modifications have been suggested in some allowances which are applicable universally to all employees as well as certain other allowances which apply to specific employee categories such as railwaymen, postal employees, scientists, defence forces personnel, doctors, nurses etc," the finance ministry said in a statement.
The allowance committee report is being currently examined by the Department of Expenditure. It will be placed before the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) set up to screen the 7th pay commission recommendations and to firm up the proposal for approval of the Cabinet. While recommendations of the 7th pay commission on pay and pension were implemented with the approval of the Cabinet, allowances continued to be paid at old rates.
The 7th pay commission had recommended that house rent allowance or HRA be paid at the rate of 24 per cent, 16 per cent and 8 per cent of the new basic pay, depending on the type of city. The 7th pay commission had also recommended that the rate of HRA be revised to 27 per cent, 18 per cent and 9 per cent 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. With regard to allowances, employee unions have demanded HRA at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent. (Also read: House rent allowance claims under scrutiny. How to avoid rejection)
The 7th pay commission had recommended that of a total of 196 allowances, 52 be abolished altogether and 36 be abolished as separate identities by subsuming them in another allowance. The 7th pay commission had recommended abolition of or subsuming of allowances like acting, assisting cashier, cycle, condiment, flying squad, haircutting, rajbhasha, rajdhani, robe, shoe, shorthand, soap, spectacle, uniform, vigilance and washing. The Ashok committee, the finance ministry said, held extensive stakeholder consultations and detailed examination of the recommendations so as to address the concerns of the stakeholders.