7th Pay Commission: Suspense on higher allowances, HRA to end next week
The suspense on higher allowances and HRA as per the 7th Pay Commission is likely to continue for a few more days for Central Government employees. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is away at Paris and will return tomorrow, June 10 following which a decision would be taken.
The Union Cabinet will fix a new date to meet. On Wednesday the matter was not taken up in the Cabinet meeting.
Agenda to be fixed on Monday
Jaitley will return to India on June 10. It is highly unlikely that he will take any decision on June 11 and 12. On Monday, according to sources Jaitley is likely to discuss the matter with the Cabinet Secretary and fix and agenda for the next Cabinet meeting. A Union leader who did not wished to be named said that the matter will be taken up soon by the Cabinet.
Suspense over weekend
The suspense will continue through the weekend. However government sources say that the matter will not go unattended. The Finance Minister has gone through portions of the report submitted by the Empowered Committee of Secretaries or E-CoS. It would be examined once again before the Cabinet meeting, the source also added.
Modi sought to speed up matter
Sources said that the Prime Minister had advised the Finance to speed up the matter. Many central government employees who are waiting for good news on allowances have questioned why the matter has been delayed. Sources say that the PM had taken keen interest in the matter and asked that the same should be sorted out on priority.
What Cabinet will discuss
An increase in House Rent Allowance (HRA) and basic pay was among the major concerns raised at the meeting of Empowered Committee of Secretaries for Central government employees. Although some reports indicated that the a cap of 25 per cent and 27 per cent was put on HRA, the Cabinet is likely to reverse that as per the employees' demands.
The Cabinet will first discuss the hike employees have been asking in the range of 157 to 178 per cent is the HRA rates as per the 6th Pay Commission. The existing rates of HRA for Class X, Y and Z cities and towns are 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of Basic pay (pay in the pay band plus grade pay). If the Cabinet retains the existing HRA then the component for central government employees will increase in a range of 157 to 178 per cent.
What is the new entry level
As per 7th Pay Commission, the new entry level pay at this level is Rs 18,000 per month against which the new HRA for a Class X city would be Rs 5,400 per month, that is around 157 percent more than the existing level.
At the highest level of the pay scale, the Cabinet Secretary and officers of the same rank have a basic pay of Rs 90,000, which means they are entitled to current HRA of Rs 27,000 in Class X towns. After the revised pay scale, the new basic pay is Rs 2.5 lakh, for which the HRA would be Rs 75,000, meaning a hike of around 178 percent.