The 7th Pay Commission is finally here. The Union Cabinet made as much as 34 amendments before finally approving the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on allowances and the final outcome has brought cheers to most of the government employees across the country.
Though the increased allowance will levy an additional burden of Rs 30,748.23 crore annually on the exchequer, yet this revised allowances as per the 7th Pay Commission will benefit close to 50 lakh employees. The revised allowances will take effect from July 1, 2017, the same day when GST will be rolled out! Based on the recommendations of Committee on Allowances, the modifications will lead to an additional burden of Rs 1,448.23 crore annually over and above the projections made by 7th Central Pay Commission.
HRA Allowance as per the 7th Pay Commission
An increase in the House Rent Allowance (HRA) as announced in 7th Pay Commission will surely bring cheers to the government employees and defence personnel. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, declared that the HRA has been approved and it will now be 24 per cent, 16 per cent and 8 per cent of the new basic pay. What added to the beneficiaries’ celebration was another announcement by the Finance Minister that the rate of HRA would be revised to 27 per cent, 18 per cent and per cent when the dearness allowance (DA) crosses 25 percent, and when it crosses 50 per cent it will be further increased to 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent. It was declared that the HRA will not be less than Rs 1800, Rs 3,600 and Rs 5,400 which would also vary from city to city. It is worth mentioning here that HRA constitutes approximately 60 percent of the total allowance of a government employee’s pay and the revision in HRA will benefit more than 7.6 lakh employees who do not reside in government accommodations and get HRA.
The medical allowance for pensioners- Rate of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA), has been doubled under 7th Pay Commission. At present, the medical allowance is Rs 500 per month which has now been increased to Rs 1,000 per month. This move will benefit beyond five lakh central government pensioners who do not avail the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) facilities. In addition to this, rate of Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) which is a grant for 100 per cent disablement, has been increased from existing Rs 4500 per month to Rs 6750 per month.
According to a report in The Times of India, under the 7th pay commission, the nursing allowance to the ministerial staff of hospitals and nurses has been increased to Rs 7,200 per month from the existing Rs 4,800 per month. Likewise, the Operation Theatre Allowance (OTA) which is granted to approximate 35 percent of the Staff Nurses who work in ICU/Operation Theatres in Central Government Hospitals, has also been increased. The OTA has been increased from existing Rs 360 per month to Rs 540 per month in addition to this the hospital patient care allowance too has been increased from Rs 2,070 to Rs 2,100 and Rs 4,100 to Rs 5,300 per month, respectively.
Siachen allowances for defence personnel
Ushering in benefits for defence personnel in Siachen the allowances have been increased more than double. For soldiers, this allowance has been increased from Rs 14,000 per month at present to Rs 30,000 per month whereas for officers it has been hiked from existing Rs 21,000 to Rs 42,500. 7th Pay Commission Committee has initiated this step keeping in mind the extreme risk and hardship faced by the army personnel deployed in Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield of the world that reaches a temperature of -50 degrees and yearly snowfall can be over 36 feet.
The New Dress Allowance
For the maintenance and provisioning of uniforms/outfits, different allowances are paid to the employees. To streamline the process it has now been subsumed into a newly proposed Dress Allowance under 7th Pay Commission. The Dress Allowance will be paid annually in four slabs — Rs 5000, Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 on the basis of the category of employees. Keeping in view the hygiene requirements and high maintenance Nurses will continue to get this allowance on a monthly basis. It has also been decided by the government to pay a higher rate of Dress Allowance to SPG (Special Protection Group) personnel. Rates of all the other specific clothing will be governed separately for different categories of employees.
Tough Location Allowance (TLA)
Allowances based on geographical location such as Special Compensatory (Remote Locality) Allowance (SCRLA), Sunderban Allowance and Tribal Area Allowance have been subsumed in Tough Location Allowance. Classification of the areas under TLA has been done under three categories. The rates will be in the range of Rs 1, 000 per month to Rs 5, 300 per month which will be governed as per different cells of R&H Matrix. It has been recommended by the 7th Pay Commission that TLA will not be admissible with Special Duty Allowance (SDA) which is payable in North-East, Ladakh and the Islands.
Some important allowances
- For a maximum of two children the Children Education Allowance (CEA), which is given on a monthly basis, has been increased from Rs 1500/ child to Rs 2250 / child.
- Subsidy on Hostel facility will also be increased from existing Rs 4500 per month to Rs 6750 per month.
- Under the 7th Pay Commission the allowance for Child Care (Special Allowance ) for Women with Disabilities has been increased to Rs 3000 per month from existing Rs 1500 per month which is double the allowance given at present
- For Civilians, the Higher Qualification Incentive has been increased to Rs 10000 – Rs 30000 (Grant) from the existing Rs 2000 – Rs 10000 (Grant).
Allowances paid to Department of Posts
By not accepting the recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission that has recommended to abolish Cycle Allowance for trackmen in Railways and postmen in Department of Posts the government has extended the cheers in the department. In fact extending the benefit to more than 22,200 employees the government has not only retained the cycle allowance but also doubled it from existing Rs 90 per month to Rs 180 per month. This step has been taken keeping in view the specific requirement of this allowance.
Source: The Indian Express