For the 43 lakh central government employees Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the last hope to ensure that their issues relating to the 7th Pay Commission are addressed. The National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), the consolidated body of union, was the revision in allowances had expressed grievances was with regard to the revision in allowances which included Housing Rent Allowance (HRA), and altering the fitment factor used for wage revision of central government employees.
Modi is keen
The NJCA has been holding a series of meetings with the Group of Ministers comprising Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. During the meetings it has been assured that the arrears on allowances will be released. The NJAC were also told that Modi himself is keen on the anomalies being addressed. Modi has told the GoM that these issues must be addressed so that there is no inconvenience caused to the employees.
The NJCA has been raising apprehensions against the Empowered Committee of Secretaries for not paying heed to their concerns related to the 7th Pay Commission report prepared by Justice (retd) AK Mathur. The GoM had assured the union leaders of a time-bound redressal of their demands.
The central government employees are no doubt upset with the delay. However they also say that they have full hope in Modi and he would come up with a settlement plan for central government employees. While the basic pay was hiked from January 1 2016, the central government employees are still waiting for their higher allowances.
Hope in Modi
It may be recalled that NJCA convenor, Shiv Gopal Mishra had said that he has full hope in Modi. He would not like to confront the government employees to maintain a good relation. He will find a good negotiated settlement for a large number of employees, he also said.
The Ashok Lavasa committee had on April 28 suggested modifications in some allowances applicable universally to all employees and also for those in specific categories, including railways and defence, after examining the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
Last month, the Union Cabinet approved important proposals relating to modifications in the 7th CPC (Central Pay Commission) recommendations on pay and pensionary benefits in the course of their implementation.
The benefit of the proposed modifications will be available with effect from 1st January, 2016. With the increase approved by the Cabinet, the annual pension bill alone of the Central Government is likely to be Rs 1,76,071 crore.
While recommendations of the CPC on pay and pension were implemented with the approval of the Cabinet, allowances continued to be paid at old rates.
The CPC 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.