New Delhi, Mar 3: About 47 lakh Central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners have been waiting for higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission since July last year. The delay in release of higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission has affected the daily life of central government employees and pensioners. A leader of the employees’ union also blamed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for delaying the payment of higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission.
Speaking to the Sen Times, a central government employees’ union leader said employees are facing problems to pay their house rents, tuition fees of children, installments of home and vehicle loans and insurance premiums because the government hasn’t taken final call on the higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission. “We were promised in August, 2016 that the higher allowances (as per the 7th Pay Commission) would be given to us within four months, but we haven’t got its till now,” he said.
Several central government employees are of view that the government is deliberately delaying the release of higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission. They also said the imposition of model code of conduct following Assembly elections in five states is just a lame excuse of the government to further delay the higher allowances.
“They (the government) tell us that the model code of conduct has come into effect from January 4 to March 8 for five states assemblies’ poll process, so they can’t announce the higher allowances. Actually they do not intend to pay the higher allowances in time. In October last year, the Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, who is the head of the ‘Committee on Allowances’, said, he was ready with the report to submit the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley but Jaitley didn’t receive the report of allowances,” the union leader was quoted as saying.
The government has given higher basic pay with arrears, effective from January 1, 2016 in August 2016 to its employees on the recommendations of the 7th pay commission but referred hike in allowances to the Committee on Allowances. The Committee on Allowances, headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, recently submitted its report of higher allowances to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. According to reports, the committee suggested no hike in the transport allowance and recommended to keep HRA to 30 per cent of the basic pay as against the 24 per cent recommended by the 7th Pay commission.