A hike in allowances would go against public sentiments prevailing in the country in view of the changed scenario in India after the attack on an Indian army unit in Uri, Kashmir and the consequent surgical strikes by the Indian Army on terror launch pads along the LoC, says a finance ministry official. An Indian army soldier keeps guard from a bunker near the border with Pakistan in Abdullian, southwest of Jammu, September 30, 2016.ReutersThe Narendra Modi government may postpone the decision to raise allowances for Central government employees, including defence staff as recommended by the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC). It might be done to "respect public sentiments" in the wake of the Indian Army's surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and fears of terror attacks in the country.
The deteriorating Indo-Pak relations that received a fresh jolt after the terror attack on an Indian Army unit in Uri on September 18 that killed 19 soldiers, has kept the government pre-occupied with defence-related matters and therefore could lead to a delay in taking a decision on allowances as recommended by the 7th CPC.
An online platform called The Sen Times claimed that a senior finance ministry official said the delay could be up to 30 days.
"Fearing any eventual terrorism incident in the country and in view of the current scenario and respecting public sentiments, the government has decided to delay the announce of higher allowances by a month," The Sen Times quoted the official as saying.
While accepting the hike for the salary component, the Central government had decided to refer the proposals on allowances to a committee head by finance secretary in June with a four-month deadline.
"The Committee will complete its work in a time bound manner and submit its reports within a period of four months. Till a final decision, all existing allowances will continue to be paid at the existing rates," an official statement issued by the finance ministry had said on June 29.
The 7th CPC had recommended scrapping 51 allowances and subsuming another 37 after examining the existing 196 allowances.
The recommendations of the 7th CPC are applicable to 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, of which 14 lakh employees and 18 lakh retirees are from the defence forces.