The matter will then go to the Union Cabinet, on revised allowances for 4.7 million employees. Officials said most of the work on the report was complete. “The panel’s work is in its final stages,” said a senior officer. If the minister accepts the report, it will only be a matter of days before the Cabinet takes up the matter. It is understood the Centre wants to give the revised allowances from early 2017-18.
In late June last year, after implementing the CPC proposals on salary and pension, Jaitley had announced the Lavasa panel would examine the suggestions on allowances. It had time till October but the report got delayed -- the CPC wanted a number of the allowances to be abolished or subsumed, while employee unions were opposed.
Some of the allowances the CPC had suggested be done away or subsumed were an acting allowance, assisting cashier allowance, cycle allowance, condiment allowance, entertainment allowances for the cabinet secretary, flying squad allowance, haircutting allowance, rajbhasha allowance, rajdhani allowance, robe allowance, secret allowance, shoe allowance, shorthand allowance, soap toilet allowance, spectacle allowance, Sunderban allowance, uniform allowance, vigilance allowance and washing allowance. Of 196 allowances, the CPC report had recommended abolition of 52 and subsuming of another 36 into larger existing ones. A deferment on revising of allowances meant that as opposed to a burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore as envisaged by the CPC, the government had provisioned for Rs 84,933 crore in 2016-17 for pay and pension, including Rs 12,000 crore in arrears.
There are other recommendations on allowances the panel is examining. These include a change in the present system of accounting, wherein pay and allowances are clubbed. The CPC recommended a separate object head for budgeting and accounting be used to record the expenditure.