New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on allowances with some modifications, paving the way for its implementation from 1 July and benefiting more than 48 lakh central government employees.
The combined additional financial implication on account of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations along with the modifications approved by the Cabinet is estimated at Rs30,748.23 crore per annum.
The government has also decided not to abolish 12 of the 53 allowances which were recommended to be abolished by the 7th Pay Commission. The retention of these allowances will benefit over one lakh employees belonging to specific categories in Railways, Posts, Defence and Scientific Departments.
Here are the general highlights of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations on allowances, HRA, as per the full text released by the PIB:
■ House Rent Allowance: HRA is currently paid at 30% for X (population of 50 lakh & above), 20% for Y (5 to 50 lakh) and 10% for Z (below 5 lakh) category of cities. 7th Pay Commission has recommended reduction in the existing rates to 24% for X, 16% for Y and 8% for Z category of cities.
As the HRA at the reduced rates may not be sufficient for employees falling in lower pay bracket, it has been decided that HRA shall not be less than Rs5,400, Rs3,600 and Rs1,800 for X, Y and Z category of cities respectively. This floor rate has been calculated at 30%, 20% and 10% of the minimum pay of Rs18,000. This will benefit more than 7.5 lakh employees belonging to Levels 1 to 3.
7th Pay Commission had also recommended that HRA rates will be revised upwards in two phases to 27%, 18% and 9% when DA crosses 50% and to 30%, 20% and 10% when DA crosses 100%. Keeping in view the current inflation trends, the government has decided that these rates will be revised upwards when DA crosses 25% and 50% respectively. This will benefit all employees who do not reside in government accommodation and get HRA.
■ Siachen Allowance: The 7th Pay Commission had placed Siachen Allowance in the RH-Max cell of the Risk and Hardship Matrix (R&H Matrix) with two slabs of Rs21,000 and Rs31,500.
Recognizing the extreme nature of risk and hardship faced by officers / PBORs on continuous basis in Siachen, the government has decided to further enhance the rates of Siachen Allowance which will now go up from the existing rate from Rs14,000 to Rs30,000 per month for Jawans & JCOs (Level 8 and below) and from Rs21,000 to Rs42,500 per month for Officers (Level 9 and above).
With this enhancement, Siachen Allowance will become more than twice the existing rates. It will benefit all the soldiers and officers of Indian Army who are posted in Siachen.
■ Dress Allowance: At present, various types of allowances are paid for provisioning and maintenance of uniforms/outfits such as Washing Allowance, Uniform Allowance, Kit Maintenance Allowance, Outfit Allowance etc. These have been rationalised and subsumed in newly proposed Dress Allowance to be paid annually in four slabs at Rs5000, Rs10,000, Rs15,000 and Rs20,000 per annum for various category of employees.
This allowance will continue to be paid to nurses on a monthly basis in view of high maintenance and hygiene requirements.
Government has decided to pay higher rate of Dress Allowance to SPG personnel keeping in view the existing rates of Uniform Allowance paid to them (which is higher than the rates recommended by the 7th CPC) as also their specific requirements. The rates for specific clothing for different categories of employees will be governed separately.
■ Tough Location Allowance: Some allowances based on geographical location such as Special Compensatory (Remote Locality) Allowance (SCRLA), Sunderban Allowance & Tribal Area Allowance have been subsumed in Tough Location Allowance. The areas under TLA have been classified into three categories and the rates will be governed as per different cells of R&H Matrix and will be in the range of Rs1,000 - Rs5,300 per month. The 7th Pay Commission had recommended that TLA will not be admissible with Special Duty Allowance (SDA) payable in North-East, Ladakh and the Islands. Government has decided that employees will be given the option to avail of the benefit of SCRLA at pre-revised rates along with SDA at revised rates.
■ Recommendations in respect of some important allowances paid to all employees:
—Rate of Children Education Allowance (CEA) has been increased from Rs1500 per month / child (max. 2) to Rs2,250 per month / child (max.2). Hostel Subsidy will also go up from Rs4,500 per month to Rs6,750 per month.
—Existing rates of Special Allowance for Child Care for Women with Disabilities has been doubled from Rs1,500 per month to Rs3,000 per month.
—Higher Qualification Incentive for Civilians has been increased from Rs2,000 - Rs10,000 (Grant) to Rs10,000 - Rs30,000 (Grant).
■ Recommendations in respect of some important allowances paid to Uniformed Services: Defence, CAPFs, Police, Indian Coast Guard and Security Agencies:
—The 7th Pay Commission has recommended abolition of Ration Money Allowance (RMA) and free ration to Defence officers posted in peace areas. It has been decided that Ration Money Allowance will continue to be paid to them and directly credited to their account. It will benefit 43,000 Defence officers.
—Technical Allowance (Tier - I & II) are paid to Defence officers belonging to technical branches at Rs3,000 per month and Rs4,500 per month. 7th Pay Commission has recommended that Technical Allowance (Tier - II) be merged with Higher Qualification Incentive for Defence personnel. In view of the specific requirements of Defence Forces for the Defence personnel to keep pace with changing Defence requirements and technologies, the Government has decided not to discontinue Technical Allowance. The list of courses for these allowances will be reviewed to remain in sync with the latest technical advancements in Defence.
—The facility of one additional free railway warrant (Leave Travel Concession) presently granted to personnel of Defence Forces serving in field/high altitude/CI Ops shall also be extended to all personnels of CAPFs and the Indian Coast Guard.
—Rates of High Altitude Allowance granted to Defence Forces and CAPF personnel will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The rates will go up from Rs810 - Rs16,800 per month to Rs2,700 – Rs25,000 per month.
—Field Area Allowances are granted to Indian Army, Air Force & CAPF personnel. The rates of Field Area Allowances (Modified Field, Field & Highly Active) will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The rates will go up from Rs1200 - Rs12600 per month to Rs6000 - Rs16900 per month. Classification of field areas for this allowance will be done by Ministry of Defence for Defence personnel and by Ministry of Home Affairs for CAPFs.
—The rates of Counter Insurgency Ops (CI Ops) Allowance, granted to Defence and CAPFs while deployed in counter – insurgency operations will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The rates will go up from Rs3,000 - Rs11,700 per month to Rs6,000 – Rs16,900 per month.
—Rates of MARCOS and Chariot Allowance granted to marine commandos of Indian Navy will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The rates will go up from Rs10,500 - Rs15,750 per month to Rs17300 – Rs25,000 per month.
—Rates of Sea Going Allowance granted to personnel of Indian Navy will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The twelve hour conditionality for determining the eligibility of Sea Going Allowance has been reduced to four hours. The rates will go up from Rs3,000 - Rs7,800 per month to Rs6,000 – Rs10,500 per month.
—Rates of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) Allowance granted to CRPF personnel deployed in Naxal hit areas will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The rates will go up from Rs8400 - Rs16800 per month to Rs17300 – Rs25000 per month.
—Rates of Flying Allowance granted to flying branch and technical officers of Defence Forces will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The rates will go up from Rs10,500 - Rs15,750 per month to Rs17,300 – Rs25,000 per month. It has been extended mutatis mutandis to BSF Air Wing also.
—Rates of Higher Qualification Incentive for Defence Personnel have been increased from Rs9,000 – Rs30,000 (Grant) to Rs10000 – Rs30,000 (Grant).
—Aeronautical Allowance, presently paid to personnel of Indian Navy, has been extended to Indian Coast Guard. The rate of this allowance has been increased from Rs300 per month to Rs450 per month.
—Rates of Test Pilot and Flight Test Engineer Allowance will be governed by the R&H Matrix. The rates will go up from Rs1,500 / Rs3,000 per month to Rs4100 / Rs5,300 per month.
—Rates of Territorial Army Allowance have been increased from Rs175 - Rs450 per month to Rs1,000 - Rs2,000 per month.
—Ceilings of Deputation (Duty) Allowance for Defence Personnel have been increased from Rs2,000 - Rs4500 per month to Rs4500 - Rs9000 per month.
—Rates of Detachment Allowance have been increased Rs165 - Rs780 per day to Rs405 – Rs1170 per day.
—Rates of Para Jump Instructor Allowance have been increased from Rs2700/3600 per month to Rs6000 / 10500 per month.
—Special Incident / Investigation / Security Allowance has been rationalized. Rates for Special Protection Group (SPG) have been revised to 55% and 27.5% of Basic Pay for operational and non – operational duties respectively.
■ Recommendations in respect of some important allowances paid to Indian Railways:
—Rates of Additional Allowance have been increased from Rs500 / 1000 per month to Rs1125 / 2250 per month. This has also been extended to Loco Pilot Goods and Senior Passenger Guards also at Rs750 per month.
—In view of strenuous nature of the job, new Allowance namely Special Train Controller’s Allowance at 5000 per month for Train Controllers of Railways has been introduced.
■ Recommendations in respect of some important allowances paid to Nurses & Ministerial Staffs of Hospital:
—Existing rate of Nursing Allowance has been increased from Rs4,800 per month to Rs7,200 per month.
—Rate of Operation Theatre Allowance has been increased from Rs360 per month to Rs540 per month.
—Rates of Hospital Patient Care Allowance / Patient Care Allowance have been increased from Rs2,070 - Rs2,100 per month to Rs4,100 – Rs5,300 per month. 7th Pay Commission recommendations modified to the extent that it will be granted to Ministerial staff also.
■ Recommendations in respect of some important allowances paid to Pensioners:
Rate of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) for Pensioners has been increased from Rs500 per month to Rs1,000 per month. This will benefit more than 5 lakh central government pensioners not availing CGHS facilities.
—The rate of Constant Attendance Allowance granted on 100% disablement has been increased from Rs4,500 per month to Rs6,750 per month.
■ Allowances to Scientific Departments:
—The recommendations of 7th Pay Commission to abolish Launch Campaign Allowance and Space Technology Allowance has not been accepted. In order to incentivize the supporting employees in Space and Atomic Energy sector, the rate of Launch Campaign and Space Technology Allowance has been increased from Rs7,500 per annum to Rs11,250 per annum. Professional Update Allowance for non-gazetted employees of Department of Atomic Energy will also continue to be paid at the enhanced rate of Rs11,250 per annum.
—The 7th Pay Commission had placed Antarctica Allowance, paid to the Scientists and other members undertaking the expedition to Antarctica under the Indian Antarctic programme, in the RH-Max Cell of the R&H Matrix. The rates of the RH-Max Cell recommended by the 7th Pay Commission were less than the existing rates of Antarctica Allowance which is currently paid on per day basis.
Considering the specific nature of these expeditions and to provide appropriate increase in rates, Government has decided to keep Antarctica Allowance out of the R&H Matrix and the allowance will continue to be paid on per day basis as per existing practice. The Rates of Antarctica Allowance will go up from Rs1,125 per day (Summers) and Rs1,688 per day (Winters) to Rs1,500 per day (Summers) and Rs2,000 per day (Winters).
■ Allowances paid to D/o Posts:
—The recommendations of 7th Pay Commission to abolish Cycle Allowance, granted mainly to Postmen and trackmen in Railways, has not been accepted. Keeping in view the specific requirement of this allowance for postmen in Department of Posts and trackmen in Railways, the cycle allowance is retained and the rates have been doubled from Rs90 per month to Rs180 per month. This will benefit more than 22,200 employees.