The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) is likely to convene for a meeting sometime this week to deliberate over and consolidate recommendations for increasing allowances of central government employees under the Seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC).
The key points that are likely to be taken up during the meeting are House Rent Allowance (HRA) arrears on revised allowances and increase in basic pay. Notably, allowances to central government employees are still being paid at old rates. On the other hand, Commission's recommendations over salaries and pensions have already been implemented.
The E-CoS is supposed look into the recommendations made by the Committee of Allowances constituted under Finance Secretary, Ashok Lavasa, to examine the recommendations made by the 7th pay commission regarding allowances.
The meeting over allowances for central government employees will be chaired by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, with officials from Home Affairs, Personnel and Training, Finance, Health and Family Welfare, Railways, and Post in attendance. The exact date and time of the meeting are still awaited.
Once the committee of secretaries is satisfied with the recommendations made by the Committee of Allowances, they will consolidate it and send it to the Union Cabinet for its final approval.
The Lavasa Committee was formed by Ministry of Finance to screen the 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.
Central government employees have been waiting since for an update on the allowances suggested by the 7th pay commission. Central government employees, unsatisfied with the hike in their salaries on recommendations by the 7th pay commission, have been banking on updates on allowances to bring the promise of a better paycheck.
Last week , reports that some union ministers might call on senior officials to seek updates on the recommendations, raised expectations in the Centre staff and pensioners. However, no such meeting was confirmed by either the Finance Ministry or officials who sat in the review committee, prolonging the month-long wait of central government employees for an update on the allowances.
The changes made after the recommendations are approved will be implemented with effect from January 1, 2016.