As of January 1, 2016, the salaries and allowances of all pensioners was raised by 14.3 per cent, according to the recommendations. However, employees and pensioners found the raise paltry.
Even as thousands of pensioners have registered their protest against the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, saying that the increase suggested by the panel was measly, the government is scrambling to appease them with interim awards. The two committees set up to look into the anomalies in pensions and allowances are expected to announce some compensation for the pensioners, in an attempt to blunt the criticism. The review report of the panels is expected to be submitted in the next 10-15 days. The report that seeks to revise the allowances, will be submitted to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“They are expected to announce some interim award. The government will consider them,” a senior government official told Times of India, on condition of anonymity. After scores of pensioners and government employees slammed the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, saying that the increase was not enough, some employee associations raised the demand for a revision. On July 22nd, the government constituted a committee comprising Finance Secretary as Chairman and Secretaries of Home Affairs, Defence, Health and Family Welfare, Personnel & Training, Posts and Chairman, Railway Board as members. The committee was to look into the recommendations regarding allowances of government employees and their dearness allowance.
As of January 1, 2016, the salaries and allowances of all pensioners was raised by 14.3 per cent, according to the recommendations. The salaries and allowances of those in the upper bracket were raised by up to 23 per cent. The recommendations of the Commission were approved by the Cabinet in June 2016, with the assurance that all arrears and raise in salaries will be applicable for the same financial year, that is, 2016-17. Over one crore employees will benefit from the recommendations, amongst which, 47 Lakh are central government employees, and 53 Lakh pensioners. Of this, 14 Lakh employees and 18 Lakh pensioners belong to the defence forces.
Following protestations from the employees, two panels were set up to look into allowances and pensions, and the panels were instructed to submit their reports in four months’ time. Once the report comes in, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will take a call on whether to implement the changes or not. Sources had earlier revealed, “The committee has been asked to submit its report within four months. Its two meetings were held on August 4 and September 1 respectively. The recommendations of the committee would have to be submitted to the Finance Minister within 10-15 days. After assessment, this would be submitted to the Cabinet.”
Speaking on the subject, Jaitley had earlier said in the Rajya Sabha, “As far as allowances are concerned, 51 have been abolished while 37 have been subsumed. As the measures are radical in nature, even the employees’ unions have given their suggestions in the matter and therefore a special committee has been formed to look into it. Whatever the committee decides, it will go to the Cabinet.” The 7th Pay Commission awards have added an additional burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore to the exchequer. Central government employees and pensioners have already got their revised salaries along with arrears, on August 31.