The Committee for allowances was constituted in July this year and was given four months to submit its report about weather allowances should be hiked or not.
The special committee that was appointed to look into the allowances recommended by the Seventh Pay Commission, will submit its report this week. The Committee headed by the Union Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, has reportedly finalised the report and it will be submitted to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley this week. However, the conclusions that the committee has reached regarding the anomalies in the allowances have not yet been ascertained. The Committee was set up in July this year, after it was announced that the recommendations of the Pay Commission will be implemented from this financial year itself.
The Committee to look into allowances was constituted with the aim of looking into “the provision of allowances other than dearness allowance under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations”, as well as any other issue related to the matter. The allowances had been a major bone of contention amongst majority of the central government employees, along with the defense personnel too. After expressing dissatisfaction on the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, the forces chiefs had openly denied to implement the recommendations, until the anomalies and pay gaps between their allowances and the allowances of the civil servants were addressed. However, last week the chiefs had reportedly agreed to accept the implementation of the recommendations, after Air Chief Marshall Arup Raha had met with the Union Defence Minister Manohar Prrikar, who had assured him that all concerns of the forces will be addressed.
Raha, along with Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, met with Parrikar last week, where the latter has assured him that their concerns will be taken up at the highest level. The three services had, on September 9, issued letters to their formations, saying that they have asked the government to hold ‘in abeyance’ the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission, given the ‘unresolved anomalies’. The letter was clear indication of a possible and impending confrontation between the forces and the central government. However, Parrikar played the diplomat, assuring the chiefs that the government cared for the forces and that their concerns will be addressed.
Central government employees had started pressurizing the government to relook its recommendations that abolished 51 allowances and subsumed 37 others, out of the 196 allowances that were present earlier. A committee was constituted in June last year, to look into allowances when it cleared the recommendations, with respect to basic pay hikes of central government employees and pensioners. Another point of contention was about the timing of the implementation of the hikes and allowances- while the government approved the implementation of the pay hikes, retrospectively from January 1, 2016, it excluded the allowances, which were to be implemented prospectively. However, the employees unions demanded that the allowances also be implemented retrospectively.
The Committee was given four months to submit its report on allowances. It has met two times and has interacted with representatives of central government employees, besides gathering responses on other platforms as well and it’s ready to support it’s report within two months. However, sources have said that the Committee is likely to go along with the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, in relation with the allowances too. The proposal to hike allowances (if any) will be placed before the Finance Ministry in October.