New Delhi, Dec 19: Central government employees will have to wait till February next year to get higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The ‘Committee on Allowances’ has got extension till February 22, 2017 to give its report on higher allowances. The extension given to the ‘Committee on Allowances’ raises eyebrows because the panel in October said the report on higher allowances under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations is ready. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley then formed ‘Committee on Allowances’ for examination of the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission on allowances other than dearness allowance.
“The government gave its approval for the extension of the term of the committee on allowances up to February 22, 2017,” an official statement said. The committee headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa was given four months by the Union Cabinet to complete its task. Ashok Lavasa, in October, said, “We are ready to submit our report, when the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley calls up.”
Sources close to the Finance Ministry said the demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes that has led to a massive cash shortage has delayed the payment of higher allowance under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The government hopes that the situation will return to normal after December 30 and it will be able to pay higher allowances to its 4.8 million employees.
The central government employees have been waiting for fatter allowance since July when the government issued the notification for the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The 7th pay commission recommended abolition of 51 allowances and subsuming 37 others out of 196 allowances, which triggered a resentment among central government employees. To resolve the issue, the government formed the ‘Committee on Allowances’.
While the government plans to pay pay higher allowance, under 7th Pay Commission recommendations, with retrospective effect from August 2016, central government employees unions demanded for implementation of the allowances with retrospective effect from January 2016. Earlier, we reported that the government is planning to pay higher allowance under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations from February to minimise the expenditures. Until acceptance of higher allowances, under 7th Pay Commission, the allowances are now paid according to the 6th Pay Commission recommendations.