“Once issued by the Ministry, the notification will be given higher allowances benefits to 4.8 million central government employees and 5.2 million pensioners.”


New Delhi:- October 16: The coming Diwali is going to be happier one for employees of the central government, with sources in the Ministry suggesting that the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission are likely to be accepted by the expert committee on allowances. Moreover, sources have also suggested that the notification for the same is likely to come in the next two weeks, in the run up to the festival of lights. This has been revealed by a news portal dedicated to Indian bureaucrats, which suggested that the expert committee, headed by finance secretary Ashok Lavasa, is unlikely to reject hikes in allowances and will allow it, just like it did with the salary components.

A news report in The Sen Times, has revealed that the Committee for allowances, which was constituted in June this year and which was to submit its report in November, will submit the report early, most probably before Diwali. The biggest Hindu festival falls on October 30, this year. This means that the notification for fatter allowances for central government employees will come before that and the allowances will then come along with the salaries of October or November. The 7th Pay Commission had recommended a 16 per cent hike in base salaries, which it said will be payable with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016, and two rates of increase in allowances — 138.71 per cent for house rent allowance and 49.79 per cent for other allowances.

These recommendations had been submitted by the Commission in its 2015 report. However, the allowance portion of the recommendations had been submitted for a review to an expert committee. Now reports have suggested that this panel is likely to retain the hikes in allowances too. An official confirmed to The Sen Times, ”The committee on allowances is likely to stick with the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on allowances”. The portal also added that the employees ”could get the higher allowances from their October or November salaries.” As estimated by the Pay Commission, the additional amount to be disbursed to government employees after the hike in House Rent Allowance will be 29,300 crore, during the current fiscal.

A Finance Ministry official said, “Finance Minister Arun Jaitley returned home now from a working visit to Canada and US and the committee on allowances is likely to submit its report to Finance Minister within two-three days”, adding, “Once issued by the Ministry, the notification will be given higher allowances benefits to 4.8 million central government employees and 5.2 million pensioners.” The Pay Commission had examined some 196 allowances and had recommended the abolition of 51 of them, while recommending the subsuming of 37 others. The recommendations cover over 45 Lakh central government employees, besides 18 Lakh pensioners belonging to the Defence Forces.

The estimated overall financial impact with the additional hike in pensions is estimated to be more than Rs 30,000 crore. The notification on allowance hikes in expected to come after the committee submits its report to the government, which in turn will announce the hikes. Discussing the hikes, the 2015 report of the Commission had said, ”Based on the current trend, the total expenditure on pension during the year 2016-17, without factoring in t