Central government employees pay hike: Staff body to wait for update on 7th Pay Commission recommendations

Central government employees have been waiting since June 2016 for reformed allowance structure according to pay panel recommendations

The National Council (Staff Side) Joint Consultative Machinery (NCJCM) will wait for the Union Cabinet to approve the recommendations of Committee on Allowances under Ashok Lavasa before making any move. Further strategies will be devised depending on whether their demands on allowances are met or not.

The central government employees' body convened for a meeting today to discuss the delay in finalising Lavasa Committee recommendations regarding allowance reforms under the 7th Central Pay Commission.

"The central government employees are dissatisfied over the delay in implementing recommendations of Committee on Allowances and Committee on National Pension System, and minimum wages. The matter is with the Empowered Committee now. We will wait for another one or two weeks till the time these changes are executed," said Shiv Gopal Mishra, Secretary, NCJCM.

On House Rent Allowance being decreased by the pay panel, Mishra said that they will include the issue in their future plan of action if needed. "HRA has not been decreased by any pay commission in past. It had been left unchanged but has not been reduced. We will raise our voice against this rate cuts in HRA if it comes to pass," Mishra said.

Quoting reliable sources, Mishra said that the Lavasa Committee has not advocated increase in HRA rates in its recommendations. Moreover, suggestions by the review committee have not been shared with them yet, he added.

Mishra met Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha a week ago, requesting him to expedite implementation of proposals by Committee of Allowances led by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa.

Story so far...

The central government employees have been waiting for almost a year now for a decision on the changes in allowance structure proposed by the 7th Pay Commission since its recommendations on pay and pension were approved by the Union Cabinet in June 29, 2016. The pay panel had suggested extensive changes in the allowances, which called for a second opinion.

Out of a total 196 allowances, the 7th Pay Commission had 52 allowances, like electricity allowance and court allowance, abolished entirely, whereas 36 others have been subsumed under other allowances. The Lavasa Committee was formed, on Cabinet orders, as it approved the Pay Commission to screen these many suggestions, and representations from various government department and agencies regarding recommendations in the Pay Commission about allowances.

The Lavasa Committee handed over its review report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on April 27, a little behind the stipulated time frame. After being examined by the Department of Expenditure, the report has been moved to Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) for a consideration and consolidation.

Path ahead

The E-CoS is expected to deliberate over the Lavasa Commitee recommendations before moving it further. The Empowered Committee will meet on June 1, to sieve through the recommendations, following which it will be consolidated sent to the Union Cabinet for the final nod on the same day.

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