New Delhi, February 18: The Committee on Allowances is expected to submit the much-awaited findings to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today. It has been nearly eight months since the government cleared the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. According to media reports, the recommendations on allowances made by the panel are expected to be effective from April 1, 2017. The government meanwhile has started releasing the 7th pay Commission arrears to defence pensioners.

The Committee on Allowances headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa was given a time till February 22, 2017, to submit its review of the pay commission’s recommendations. Soon after the Central Government makes any announcements on allowances, the state government is expected to follow the same.

Directed by the government, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had set up the Allowances Committee in July 2016 to review the recommendations of the pay commission after employees protested against the proposed slash in the HRA. Analysts were hopeful that the government will implement Seventh Pay Commission-related allowance hikes after the Budget 2017. Earlier, the committee was given a four-month time to come out with recommendations. This time was further extended till February 22, 2017.

Domestic brokerage Religare in a report said that the Centre implemented the Seventh Pay Commission (CPC) pay hikes in September 2016 and is expected to implement the allowance hikes in March after the state elections. This will help in boosting the income of one crore central government employees and pensioners. The committee has recommended scrapping 53 of the 196 allowances and merging few others under the 7th Pay Commission while it also recommended a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay which is the lowest in 70 years.

The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended 24 per cent of the basic pay as HRA against the 30 per cent of basic pay. Meanwhile, the government employees have expressed their disappointment over being denied their full remuneration. Central government employees union believes that the Committee is likely to submit its report today and will be notified with effect from April 1, 2017. It is believed that by making the Higher Allowance effective from April 1, the government is saving crores of rupees from its exchequer. Under the Seventh Pay Commission, few states like Haryana, Uttarakhand have already announced salary hike for government employees and have given revised salary to its employees from January 1. –