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Centre notifies 7th pay panel recommendations on allowances



New Delhi, July 7:  The government has notified the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission on allowances with 34 modifications, with a total financial implication of Rs 30,748.23 crore per annum, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.

“Ministries concerned have now been advised to issue their orders on allowances governed by them immediately so that the revised allowances get reflected in the current month’s salary of government employees,” a ministry statement said here.

The move will benefit 48 lakh government employees. The notification was published in the Gazette of India on Thursday, and comes into effect from July 1.

Based on the Report of Committee on Allowances and the recommendation of the Empowered Committee of Secretaries, the Cabinet had approved modifications in 34 allowances at its meeting on June 28.

No raise was given in fully Dearness Allowance-indexed allowances such as Transport Allowance. Allowances not indexed to DA were raised by a factor of 2.25 and the partially indexed ones by a factor of 1.5. The quantum of allowances paid as a percentage of pay was rationalised by a factor of 0.8.

House Rent Allowance is currently paid at 30 per cent for X (population of 50 lakh and above), 20 per cent for Y (5 to 50 lakh) and 10 per cent for Z (below 5 lakh) category cities.

Under the revised notification, there is reduction in the existing rates to 24 per cent for X, 16 per cent for Y and 8 per cent for Z category cities.

As the HRA at the reduced rates may not be sufficient for employees falling in the lower pay bracket, it has been decided that HRA shall not be less than Rs 5,400, Rs 3,600 and Rs 1,800 for X, Y and Z category of cities respectively. This floor rate has been calculated at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent of the minimum pay of Rs 18,000.

“This will benefit more than 7.5 lakh employees,” it said.

Keeping in view the current inflation trends, the government has decided that these rates will be revised upwards when the DA crosses 25 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Other major allowances are:

*Rate of Siachen allowance for soldiers has increased from Rs 14,000 to Rs 30,000 and for officers from Rs 21,000 to Rs 42,500 per month for extreme risk and hardship.

*Flying allowance paid to uniformed services has been increased from Rs 10,500-Rs 15,750 per month to Rs 17,300-Rs 25,000 per month, which has also been extended to the Border Security Force Air Wing.

*The rate of nursing allowance has gone up from Rs 4,800 to Rs 7,200 per month.

*Fixed medical allowance for pensioners has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per month.



J&K: Two militants killed in Anantnag gunfight




Srinagar, March 24: Two terrorists were killed on Saturday in an encounter with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, police said.

“Security personnel from the Rashtriya Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police surrounded Shistargam village on Friday evening following information about a group of holed-up militants.

“As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired at the security forces triggering the gunfight,” police sources said.

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Fear that AI will take up both skilled & unskilled jobs: Rajan

We have to make sure Indian capital is available because often it is closest to the ground and understands the financing better




Kochi, Mar 23 : Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today expressed fears that Artificial Intelligence would take up jobs–both high skilled and unskilled.

With advances in Machine Learning,Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, this was going to change still further, as they take up the jobs,ranging from those in unskilled sweatshops to high-skilled professions like medicine, the former RBI Governor said.

“What jobs will humans be able to do in 10-15 years that are immune from threat?Jobs that require high intelligence and creativity; jobs that require human empathy and jobs where human working for us bolster our status in some way,” he said, delivering the keynote address outlining his vision for India at #FUTURE Global Digital Summit, organised by the Kerala government.

He, however, India has to embrace technology and become a leader in the digital transformation taking place around the globe without being bogged down by unfounded fears of job losses, incomes or machines replacing humans.

Among the biggest obstacles to technology adoption were fears of man being replaced by machines a fear that has existed since the industrial revolution,but never materialised. “Two hundred years since the industrial revolution, jobs are still around. People and society adapt to do the things that machines cannot do,” he said.

“With technology, across every job there is going to be a restructuring, taking away the routine aspects and leaving the creative and customised aspects of that job,” he said.

Currently Professor, Finance at University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Rajan said that in every industrial country, more jobs have disappeared in routine skilled and non routine unskilled jobs, which has partly led to the anxieties.

The former RBI Governor said another aspect of the fear was where the incomes would come from; the answer to which was an assured Universal Basic Income.

In the Indian context, he said “we have a huge hunger for capabilities at every level. If we can create incomes at some level, the aspirations of people will ensure their children move up in life and get the opportunities that they did not.”

In terms of business opportunities, the government needs to do far more for start-ups to flourish in India by creating easy paths to incorporation and funding, he said.

Rajan said that one of the big lacunae in India was risk financing and so start-ups go elsewhere because they need risk financing, which was not available in the country.

“We have to make sure Indian capital is available because often it is closest to the ground and understands the financing better,” Rajan said.

“We have to make sure that the companies of our future are incorporated in India, get Indian financing and expand significantly. We cannot miss out on the AI and Robotics revolution,” he said.

Another significant area where India effectively needs a revolution is education and skill building, Rajan said.

“We need to remedy weaknesses in education at every stage, build more world-class institutions domestically and bring the talent back from abroad,” Rajan said.

“We are not as global as we should be even now. Too many of our people are too poorly educated or skilled to compete in a globalised tech-enabled economy,” Rajan noted.

“If we don’t do that we will end up with a two-tier economy of a few “haves” and a vast population of “have-nots”, which is neither socially stable nor desirable,”he said.

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Sonia Gandhi rushed back to Delhi, better now




March 23:  Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, who was rushed to New Delhi from Shimla on Friday due to her ill health, is better now, said sources close to 10, Janpath.

Gandhi was in Shimla along with her daughter Priyanka Vadra, officials said.

She was initially taken to Chandigarh on Thursday night and from there the Congress leader was taken to New Delhi on a special aircraft.

“Since she (Sonia Gandhi) refused to get examined at Indira Gandhi Medical College (in Shimla) and insisted on reaching Chandigarh, she was taken to Chandigarh late in night and from there she was taken to New Delhi,” an official told IANS.

Gandhi and her daughter were staying at the Wildflower Hall, an Oberoi Group luxury resort.

Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Ramesh Chand accompanied the Congress leader from Shimla to Chandigarh.

“Her condition was stable,” Chand told IANS.

Sonia Gandhi and her family arrived in Shimla on Wednesday and visited Charabra where Priyanka Vadra’s cottage is being constructed.


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