The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) will hold a meeting this week that could have a bearing on the salary hike of central government employees under the Seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC).
House Rent Allowance (HRA) arrears on revised allowances and increase in basic pay are two main issues likely to be discussed in the meeting. At present, central government employees are receiving allowances at old rates, even though the 7th Pay Commission's recommendations over salaries and pensions have been implemented.
The Committee of Allowances led by Finance Secretary, Ashok Lavasa, had earlier examined the recommendations made by the 7th pay commission regarding allowances. Now, the E-CoS is due to look at the Lavasa-led committee.
Even though there has been no confirmation when the E-Cos will take up the issue this week, it is expected that Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha and officials from Home Affairs, Personnel and Training, Finance, Health and Family Welfare, Railways, and Post will attend the meeting.
If the E-Cos finds the Lavasa-led committee's recommendations satisfactory, it will send it the Union Cabinet for approval. The Lavasa Committee had screened 196 recommendations for changes in allowance structure by the 7th pay commission. The Committee submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on April 24 last month, recommending that 52 allowances suggested by the pay commission be entirely scraped and 36 of them be incorporated with other allowances instead of dealing with them separately.
Meanwhile, the delay has added to the frustration among central government employees who have been waiting for an update that could have impact their salaries. Reports of E-CoS meeting soon has been doing the rounds for over a week without official confirmation.