The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) is likely to table the report on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission on June 1 before the Union Cabinet. While there are indications that the E-CoS has given a favourable report on higher allowances, it is yet to be seen if the Union Cabinet will accept the same.
The issue is of extreme importance for central government employees who have been waiting for an update on allowances since the past one year. The employees have rested their hopes on the assurance given by P K Sinha, the Cabinet Secretary also the head of the E-CoS. He had said that all demands of the central government employees will be met.
All demands will be met
During a meeting of the National Council (Staff Side) Joint Consultative Machinery (NCJCM) chief, Shiv Gopal Mishra and Sinha, the former was told that a favourable report will be given. Mishra was also assured that the demands of the central government employees who have been waiting for the past one year will be met.
On June 1, the E-CoS will hold a meeting on which the final draft on higher allowances and HRA under the 7th Pay Commission will be discussed. The report would then be handed over directly to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. There were reports earlier that the E-CoS may stick to the recommendations made by the pay panel on higher allowances. While there is palpable tension among the employees, they are basing their hopes on the assurance given by Sinha.
The NCJCM would wait for the Cabinet to take a decision before making the next move. A meeting of the central government employees body was held to discuss the issue of higher allowances. It has been decided that they would await the E-CoS report and also the decision by the Cabinet before planning their next move. Mishra said that they would wait another week or two before taking the next call, but added that it would be dependent on what the cabinet has to say.
Will raise our voice on HRA
The employees' unions say that they would raise their voice on HRA. No commission has reduced the HRA in the past. If it comes to pass then we will raise our voice on the same, Mishra also said. He said that the Lavasa Committee had not advocated an increase in HRA rates. The suggestions by the review committee are yet to be shared, he also added.
Once the E-CoS hands out its report, it would be sent to the Union Cabinet. It is expected that the Cabinet may give the final nod the same day. However there is some amount of confusion since the Prime Minister is out of the country. In all likelihood there could be a decision tomorrow itself. If that does not happen then it may take another week.