7th Pay Commission: HRA Likely 30% remain, Suspense on Arrears

7th Pay Commission: HRA likely to remain at 30 per cent, suspense continues on arrears

The Union Cabinet, which is likely to take up matters related to higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission, may keep house rent allowance or HRA at 30 per cent.

New Delhi, June 16: The Union Cabinet, which is likely to take up matters related to higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission, may keep house rent allowance or HRA at 30 per cent. But there is no clarity on arrears on higher allowances as demanded by the central government employees. The reduction in HRA by the 7th Pay Commission was among the core concerns raised by the central government employees, after which the Committee on Allowances was formed. Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa-led the Committee on Allowances has reportedly suggested to retain HRA rate at 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of Basic pay, against the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission. HRA accounts for about 60 per cent of the total allowances bill.

The 7th Pay Commission has suggested to keep the HRA rate at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively. However, the central government employees demanded to retain HRA rate at 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of Basic pay as per the 6th Pay Commission. Latest reports suggested that the government is likely to accept their demand on HRA. However, there is no official confirmation in this regard.

Shiv Gopal Mishra, chief of the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), leading the 7th Pay Commission negotiations with the government, while speaking to NDTV, said that there is a possibility of higher HRA than that recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. However, a report published in the Financial Express said the HRA in cities with population above 5 million could be 27 per cent of the basic pay. The next Cabinet meet will be crucial as the government is most likely to clear proposals related to higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission.

While the central government employees have been receiving their revised salaries as per the 7th Pay Commission, revised higher allowances haven’t been paid since July last year. The central government employees have demanded arrears on higher allowances as well, but the government neither accepted, nor rejected their demand.

The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay for Central government employees, which is the lowest in 70 years, and suggested the abolition of 52 out of the 196 existing allowances, apart from subsuming 36 smaller allowances. The Ashok Lavasa committee, which examined the 7th Pay Commission‘s recommendations on allowances, submitted its report to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on April 27. An Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) was set up to screen the report and firm up proposals for the Cabinet. The E-CoS has also submitted its proposals to the Cabinet.

Source:- http://www.india.com

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