The central government employees are truly unaware about the allowances they will get - they do not know when will the reformed structure for allowances will finally be implemented, or what reforms have been made in structure in the first place.
A letter submitted by National Council (Staff Side) Joint Consultative Machinery for Central Government Employees to Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha reflected that the central government employees have not been told about the recommendations by Lavasa Committee about allowance reforms under the 7th pay commission.
"The Committee on Allowances took longer time while finalizing its recommendations, but it is a matter of deep regret that, even after submission of the report by the said committee, the same has not been made available to the Staff Side (JCM), therefore, we do not know what recommendations have been made by the said committee," stated the letter undersigned by secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra.
"Staff Side (JCM), therefore, requests that the recommendations of the Allowances Committee should be made available to the Staff Side (JCM). Moreover, it would be highly appreciated that, the Allowances should be implemented without any further delay, and the date of the implementation should be w.e.f. 01.01.2016," the letter further read.
The 7th pay commission had recommended that 52 allowances out of a total of 196 should be abolished completely and 36 allowances should be merged with existing ones instead of being treated with separate identities. The Lavasa Committee was formed to look into these changes regarding allowances and to address the representations sent in by various staff associations and ministries.
Now, the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) will go through the review report by Ashok Lavasa-led Committee of Allowances on or before June 1 and will let their findings be known by the same date, according to reports. It will then be consolidated and sent to the Cabinet for final approval.
The recommendations include several issues of conflicts between the government and staff, like House Rent Allowance, arrears on delayed allowances and increase in basic pay. The Lavasa Committee has made suggestions for the central government employees on matter like HRA, TA, DA and such. Here's a look:
House Rent Allowance (HRA)
The 7th pay commission has suggested that HRO should be reduced for central government employees irrespective of their place of deployment. For employees living in metros, the 7th CPC has recommended their HRA be reduced to 24 per cent, 16 per cent and 8 per cent of basic pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively against the outgoing rates of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent.
The Lavasa Committee has suggested the rates be revised to 27 per cent, 18 per cent and 9 per cent when DA is more than 50 per cent, and revised to 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent when it is more than 100 per cent.
Arrears on revised allowances
The recommendations made by the 7th CPC regarding salaries and pensions have been approved by the Cabinet in June last year, but those about allowances have been put on hold considering the radical changes suggested. Employees and pensioners are getting paychecks and pensions according to the new pay scale. That is not the case with allowances, though, which are being paid on old rates.
Central government employees have demanded that the changes regarding allowances should be put into effect from January 1, 2016 and relevant arrears be paid against the allowances.
Hike in basic pay
The central government employees were disappointed with the marginal pay hike in their salaries and pensions. They have been depending on the recommendations by the Committee of Allowances to bump up the pay scale for their benefit.