Despite the largesse it gave to its 48 lakh employees and 55 lakh pensioners, at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.02 lakh crore with 23.55 per cent hike in pay and allowances, the 7th Pay Commission continues to be a source of an irritant for the Narendra Modi government as issues on allowances are not settled.

The Centre had set up a ‘Committee on Allowances’ which met last Thursday under the chairmanship of the Union Secretary, Finance (Expenditure), with representatives of government staff unions.

A brief ( on the meeting the same day by Shiva Gopal Mishra, Secretary (Staff Side), National Council/Joint Consultative Machinery for central employees, shows the unions are getting restive over several issues.

At the meeting, representatives of the unions expressed their anguish over ‘non-formation of a high-level committee’. According to them, it was agreed upon in July by the Group of Ministers for settling the issue of Minimum Wage and Multiplying Factor. The unions want the ‘minimum wage’ for central employees to be fixed at Rs. 26,000 as opposed to Rs. 18,000 recommended by the 7th Central Pay Commission. “The Secretary, Finance (Expenditure), told that, the committee constituted under the chairmanship of Addl. Secretary (Exp.) with J.S. (Pers.), JS (Estt.) and JS(Imp.) as Members has been made only for this purpose. Let us believe that, after the meeting, report of the said committee would be sent to the Government of India for its acceptance,” Mr. Mishra noted.

Te unions made a strong case for implementation of the allowances to be decided by the committee from January 1, 2016. Besides, they wanted that House Rent Allowance be fixed at the range of 10 to 30 per cent of the basic linked to the classification of the town of posting, children education Allowance of Rs. 3,000 and hostel subsidy of Rs. 10, 000.

The Hindu - 5th September 2016