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Published On: Thu, Apr 27th, 2017

7th Pay : Finance Secretary l is likely to recommend a maximum hike of 178 percent on HRA ?

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589913-7th-cpc-hra-hikeNEW DELHI : The committee on allowances headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa is likely to recommend a maximum hike of 178 percent in house rent allowance by retaining HRA rate for Class X, Y and Z cities and towns at 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of basic pay respectively.

The committee’s proposal on allowances will benefit over 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners. The allowances form a sizeable amount of the salary drawn by a government employee.As per media reports, the committee on allowances will submit its final report on Thursday (April 27), when the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley returns to the country after his visit to US and Russia. The government had earlier said that the decision on allowances will be taken after the committee on allowances submits its report.
The committee on allowances headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa that was set up to review the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission is understood to have finalised its report. People familiar with the matter said the committee has also finalised its views on the pay commission recommendation of reducing the house rent allowance (HRA) to 24 percent of basic pay as against the 30 percent of basic pay employees were drawing under the Sixth Pay Commission.

The committee was also asked to examine the 7th Pay Commission recommendation for abolition of 53 allowances out of a total of 196 and subsuming another 36 into larger existing ones.The 7th Pay Commission headed by AK Mathur had earlier proposed the rate of House Rent Allowance (HRA) at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.

The Commission had also recommended that the rate of HRA will be revised to 27 percent, 18 percent and 9 percent when DA crosses 50 percent, and further revised to 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent when DA crosses 100 percent.The existing rates of HRA for Class X, Y and Z cities and towns are 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of Basic pay.

If the committee retains the exiting HRA rates (as per 6th Pay Commission) then the HRA component of central government employees will increase ranging between 157 percent and 178 percent. Take, for instance, a central government employee at the very bottom of the pay scale under 6th Pay Commission was till now entitled to an HRA of Rs 2,100 on basic pay of Rs 7,000 (basic pay that includes pay of pay band + grade pay) in a Class X city. It is to be noted that government, while implementing the 7th Pay Commission in June last year had made it clear that till the final outcome of allowances committee is being placed, the employees would be getting the allowances as per 6th Pay Commission.

Now, as per 7th Pay Commission, the new entry level pay at this level is Rs 18,000 per month against which the new HRA for a Class X city would be Rs 5,400 per month, that is around 157 percent more than the existing level.
Similarly, at the highest level of the pay scale, the Cabinet Secretary and officers of the same rank have a basic pay of Rs 90,000, which means they are entitled to current HRA of Rs 27,000 in Class X towns. After the revised pay scale, the new basic pay is Rs 2.5 lakh, for which the HRA would be Rs 75,000, meaning a hike of around 178 percent.

If the Committee accepts the bare recommendations of A K Mathur-led 7th Pay Commission then the HRA component of central government employees will increase ranging between 106 percent and 122 percent.Take, for instance, a central government employee at the very bottom of the pay scale, where the basic pay (pay of pay band + grade pay) is now Rs 7,000, would currently be entitled to an HRA of Rs 2,100 in a Class X city. As per 7th Pay Commission, the new entry level pay at this level is Rs 18,000 per month against which the new HRA for a Class X city would be Rs 4,320 per month, that is 106 percent more than the existing level.
Similarly, at the highest level of the pay scale, the Cabinet Secretary and officers of the same rank have a basic pay of Rs 90,000, which means they are entitled to current HRA of Rs 27,000 in Class X towns. After the revised pay scale, the new basic pay is Rs 2.5 lakh, for which the HRA would be Rs 60,000, meaning a hike of 122 percent.

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