Tough Location Allowance will not be admissible along with Special Duty Allowance – 7th CPC
Postal Joint Council of Action writes to the Secretary of Department of Posts regarding the 7th CPC Recommendations on allowances including Family Planning Allowance, Fixed Medical Allowance and Overtime Allowance…
POSTAL JOINT COUNCIL OF ACTION
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES
FEDERATION OF NATIONAL POSTAL ORGANISATIONS
Dated:16th September, 2016
Department of Post,
New Delhi-110 001
NOTE ON ALLOWANCES
1. The recommendation of the 7th CPC that Tough Location Allowance will not be admissible alongiwth Special Duty Allowance (SDA) should not be accepted by Government.
In para 8.10.62 of the 7th CPC the following recommendation is made –
Para 8.10.62 – There are some “Special Compensatory” Allowances that are based on geographical location and are meant to compensate for hardship faced by employees posted in such places. It is proposed to subsume these allowances under the umbrella of “Tough Location Allowance”.
In Para 8.10.63 the Commission made the following recommendations – “The Tough Location Allowance will, however, not be admissible along with Special Duty Allowance”.
At present, special allowances are paid in the following places along with Special Duty Allowance.
(a) Assam and North Easter Region – Special Compensatory allowance paid alongwith Special Duty Allowance.
(b) Andaman & Nicobar Islands – Special Compensatory Allowance paid alongwith Island Special Duty Allowance.
(c) Tripura Special Compensatory Remote Locality Allowance paid along with Special Duty Allowance.
Demand of the staff side: In all the above cases “Tough Location Allowance” may be paid alongwith Special Duty Allowance. Withdrawal of any of the above allowances, will result in substantial financial loss to the employees. An existing benefit should not be withdrawn, under the pretext of 7th CPC’s unjustified recommendation.
2. Special Duty Allowance in N. E. Region should be uniform for all at 30%.
In Para 8.17.115 the 7th CPC made the following observation –
“Special Duty Allowance (SDA) is granted to attract civilian employees to seek posting in North Eastern and Ladhak Regions, in view of the risk and hardship prevailing in these areas. Currently the rate of SDA is 37.5% of Basic Pay for AIS officers and 12.5% of Basic Pay for other employees.
In para 8.17.118 the Commission made the following recommendation –
“Accordingly in line with our general approach of rationalizing the percentage based allowance by a factor of 0.8, SDA for AIS officers should be paid at the rate of 30% of Basic Pay and for other civilian employees at the rate of 10% of their basic pay.
Demand of the staff side: The discrimination between AIS officers and other civilian employees in payment of SDA should not be there and all may be paid at the same rate i.e. at the rate of 30% recommended by the pay commission for AIS officers.
3. Allowances which are not reported to 7th CPC by the concerned departments.
In para 8.2.5 of the report, the 7th CPC made the following recommendation.
“We have considered all allowances reported to us, in this chapter. Any allowances, not mentioned here (And hence not reported to the commission) shall cease to exist immediately. In case there is any demand or requirement for continuation of an existing allowance which has not been deliberated upon or covered in this report, it should be re-notified by the ministry concerned after obtaining due approval of Ministry of Finance and should be put in the public domain”.
Demand of the Staff Side: The above recommendation should not be accepted, as it amounts to penalizing employees for the fault of the departmental heads. The following allowance which are not reported to the commission should be retained and enhanced.
(a) PO & RMS Accountants’ Special allowance
Postal Assistants and Sorting Assistants of Postal department are posted as PO & RMS Accountant after passing a qualifying examination. Taking into consideration their work which require much skill, application of mind, and knowledge of all rulings, Special allowance is granted to them. This allowance may beretained and enhanced.
4. Savings Bank Allowance in Post offices:
In Department of Posts, Savings Bank Allowance is granted to Postal Assistant working in Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) for shouldering strenuous and complicated nature of Savings Bank work. Postal Assistants need to qualify an aptitude test to get this allowance. The current rates are Rs.300/- per month for fully engaged staff and Rs.150/- per month for partially engaged staff.
In para 8.10.80 of the report, the Commission recommended as follows:
“Savings Bank Allowance be abolished as the justification provided by the concerned ministry for the grant of this allowance is not sufficient for their continuance”.
Demand of staff side: Savings Bank Allowance should be retained and enhanced in view of the justification given above.
5. Special Compensatory (Hill area) Allowance
In para 8.10.50 of the report, the 7th CPC made the following recommendation – “There is hardly any hardship involved at altitude of 1000 meters (more than 3000 feets) above sea level. Hence, it is recommended that the allowance should be abolished.
Demand of the staff side: The above observation of the commission is not based on ground realities but based on presumption. Hence the above allowance should be retained and enhanced.
6. Family Planning Allowance
In para 8.17.50 of the report, the 7th CPC made the following recommendations – “The commission recognizes the fact that most of the benefit related to children viz. children Education Allowance, maternity Leave, LTC etc. are available for two children only. Moreover, the level of awareness regarding appropriate family size has also gone up among Government servants. Hence, a separate allowance aimed towards population control is not required. Accordingly, it is recommended that family planning allowance should be abolished.
Demand of the staff side: The above allowance may be retained. In any case, the Family Planning Allowance already granted should not be withdrawn.
7. Fixed Medical Allowance
In Para 8.17.51 of the report the 7th CPC observed as follows –
It is granted to pensioners for meeting expenditure on day to day medical expenses that do not require hospitalization, presently payable at the rate of Rs.500/- p.m. Demands have been received to increase the rate of this allowance to Rs.2000/-.
In para 8.17.52 the Commission made the following recommendation-
The Commission notes that the allowance was enhanced from Rs.300/- to Rs.500/- p.m from 19.11.2014. As such, further enhancement of this allowance is not recommended.
Demand of the staff side: in the memorandum submitted to 7th CPC, the staff side had elaborately explained the justification for enhancing the FMA to Rs.2000/-. As everybody knows, old age persons are suffering from many deceases and as the cost of medicines has increased manifold the expenditure on outdoor medical treatment has also gone up like anything. With Rs.500/- p.m no pensioner can meet the medical expenses. The commission has not conducted any scientific and realistic study, but simply rejected the demand stating that it is enhanced recently. It is once again requested that the FMA for pensioners may be enhanced to Rs.2000/- p.m as in the case of EPF pensioners.
8. Cash handling Allowance
In para 8.10.9 of the report, the 7th CPC observed as follows: –
It is paid to cashiers working in Central Government departments, for handling of cash. The current rates are –
|Average amount of monthly cash disbursed||Rate per month|
|Below Rs. 50000||230|
|Over Rs. 50000 upto 200000||450|
|Over 200000 upto 500000||600|
|Over 500000 upto 1000000||750|
Again in Para 8.10.57 the commission observed as follows: –
Treasury Allowance – This allowance is granted in Department of Posts to Treasurers and Assistant Treasurers working in Head Post offices and large Sub Post offices for handling cash. The present rate is Rs.360/- p.m for handling cash upto Rs.2 lakhs and Rs.480/- p.m. for handling cash more than Rs.2 lakhs.
In para 8.10.80 the commission made the following recommendation
Assistant cashier Allowance, Cash handling allowance and Treasury Allowance –
With technological advances and growing emphasis on banking, these allowances have lost their relevance. Hence it is recommended that not only all salary be paid through banks, but Ministries/departments should work out plans to first minimize and then eliminate all sorts of cash transactions.
Demand of the staff Side: The recommendation of the Commission is not realistic. Till that time the cash transactions are eliminated the Cash handling allowance and Treasury allowance should be retained and enhanced.
9. Cycle Allowance
In para 8.15.10 of the report the 7th CPC made the following observation.
“It is paid where the duties attached to the post require extensive use of bicycle and the official concerned has to use and maintain his own cycle for official journeys. The existing rate is Rs.90 p.m.
In para 15.11 the commission made the following recommendation –
“The Commission is of the view that amount of this allowance is megre and the allowance itself is outdated. Hence it should be abolished.
Demand of the staff side: This allowance is at present given to more than 40000 Postmen staff and about 50000 GraminDakSevaks of the Postal Department. When the commission itself observed that an official using his own bicycle for official duties has to incur expenditure for maintenance of the cycle. When the maintenance work is done for performing official duties, the amount should be reimbursed to the official, whether the amount is megre or not – Hence this allowance should be retained and enhanced.
10. Overtime Allowance
In para 8.17.97 of the report the 7th CPC made the following recommendations –
Hence while this commission shares the sentiments of the predecessors that Government offices need to increase productivity and efficiency and recommended that OTA should be abolished (except for operational staff and industrial employees who are governed by statutory provisions) at the same time it is also recommended that in case the Government decides to continue with OTA for these categories of staff for which it is not statutory requirement, then the rate of OTA for such staff should be increased by 50% from their current levels.
Demand of the staff side: OTA rates are revised in the year 1987. For the last 30 years no revision has taken place. Eventhough an arbitration award for enhancement is given, the same is also pending implementation for the last 20 years. After 7th CPC revision, one hour wage of an MTS is Rs. 75/- where as rate for one hour OTA is Rs.15.85 only!!! Hence it is requested that overtime allowance wherever sanctioned must be based upon the actual basic pay of the entitled employee.
11. Dress Allowance
(a) Para 08.16.14 may be referred. The 7th CPC recommended four slabs of Dress allowance per year for various categories of employees. In the Department of Posts there are about 75000 Postmen and Multi-Tasking staff wearing uniform. Their name is not mentioned in the category of employees shown in the table. Even if it is included in the other categories of staff, then the Dress Allowance per year will be Rs.5000/- only. At present the Postmen/MTS staff of Postal department are getting more than Rs.5000/- for uniform plus washing allowance. Hence it should be made clear under which category the Postmen and MTS staff of Postal department are to be included, in the dress allowance table recommended by the 7th CPC. These official may be granted Rs.10000/- as dress allowance.
(b) It is further demanded that the Dress Allowance ceiling to be raised to Rs.32400 per annum.
(c) If cloth for dress is provided stitching charges should be revised reasonably.
(d) Washing allowance should be increased from Rs.90/- to 150/- Rupees per month.
Secretary General FNPO