Central government employees' long wait for allowances may end soon as the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) is likely hold a crucial meet today to screen the Ashok Lavasa report.
Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa-headed Committee on Allowances had submitted its review report on allowances under the Seventh Pay Commission to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on April 27.
If reports are to be believed, Central government employees can expect to get some updates on allowances by the end of the day. Once the Empowered Committee of Secretaries approves of the Lavasa panel's report, the same will be forwarded to the Narendra Modi cabinet for the final approval.
HERE IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ALLOWANCES AND WHERE THE STORY STANDS:
The Ashok Lavasa Committee on Allowances was constituted in July last year after Central government employees protested against the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.
The Seventh Pay Commission recommended abolishing 53 of the 196 allowances for Central government employees and merging 36 smaller allowances into bigger ones.
The Seventh Pay Commission also suggested bringing down the House Rent Allowance (HRA) by 2-6 per cent for all Central government employees depending on the type of cities.
The Ashok Lavasa committee was tasked with reviewing the Seventh Pay Commission's recommendations and submit its report within four months. The committee, after missing two deadlines, finally submitted the report to the government on April 27.
Now, the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) will review the Ashok Lavasa report today. Once the E-CoS okays the report, it will send the report to the Union cabinet for the final nod.
Representatives of employee unions recently wrote to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and expressed disappointment over the delay in implementation of allowances. The letter also talked about Central government employees not being aware of the recommendations suggested by the Ashok Lavasa Committee on Allowances.
Given the long delay in implementation of allowances, Central government employees' representatives have been demanding arrears on allowances besides a hike in basic pay.
The pay hike of 14.27 per cent under the Seventh Pay Commission is the lowest Central government employees have received in the last 70 years. It remains to be seen if the Modi government's decision on allowances can make nearly 50 lakh Central government employees happy.