New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to announce the much awaited hike in the allowances of the government employees based on the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission during the second phase of the budget session starting March 9.
Over 50 lakh government employees had expected that Jaitley will take a call on allowance hike during his budget speech. The minister refrained possibly because of the election code of conduct enforced due to the ongoing elections in the five states.
The assembly elections in five states are ending on March 8, the model code of conduct too will be lifted simultaneously. Hence it is widely speculated that Jaitely will announce the hike anytime after March 9.
The cabinet has already cleared the 7th Pay Commission's recommendations on the hike on June 29 last year. The commission recommended a 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay, which was the lowest in 70 years.
The hike in aggregate pay stands at 23.5 per cent under the 7th Pay Commission, with the minimum increase in pay from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000.
The Committee on Allowances in its report submitted to the Finance Ministry had suggested keeping the House Rent Allowance (HRA) at 30 per cent of the basic pay as under the 6th Pay Commission. Transport allowance too would remain the same.
While the government avoided making any announcement on implementation of allowances this financial year, employees expect it to take a call before April 1 so that they can draw revised salaries from the new financial year.