7th Pay Commission recommendations on Allowances – NFAEE
National Federation of Atomic Energy Employees
DEPARTMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY
Recognised by DAE vide DAE OM No. 8/1/2007 – IR&W/95 dated 13th June 2007
NFAEE Office, Opp. NIYAMAK BHAVAN, Anusaktinagar, Mumbai 400 094
Web site: www.nfaeehq.blogspot.com ; Email address: [email protected]
Ref. No: nfaee/sg/16/198 26.09.2016
The Secretary to the Government of India
Department of Expenditure
Ministry of Finance
Sub: Note on 7th CPC recommendations on Allowances. Reg
It is understood that the Committee on Allowances constituted by the Government hold a preliminary meeting with National Council (JCM) Standing Committee on 1st September 2016. In the meeting the staff side representatives presented their views on various allowances and decided to submit a detailed note and to hold further meeting.
In this context, National Federation of Atomic Energy Employees (NFAEE) which represents the entire non gazetted employees under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) would like to submit the note attached with this letter contains the views on various allowances.
The 7th Central Pay Commission, in its report referred about 196 Allowances and recommended to:
· Abolish certain allowances
· Subsume with certain allowances
· Certain allowances are merged as single allowance)
· While considering Department specific Allowances, some of them are considered and certain other allowances has not referred/mentioned
Under this circumstance we feel the Committee should review the every comments recorded by the Pay Commission on Allowances. Similarly the Committee on Allowance also should consider various allowance, especially Department specific which are not considered by the CPC and not recommended neither to abolish or subsume nor enhance.
However we prepared the note attached herewith is directly related to the employees of Department of Atomic Energy in which some allowances are common in nature and others are Department specific. Following Allowances are linked with various categories of DAE Employees.
A. COMMON ALLOWANCES:
a. House Rent Allowance
b. Transport Allowance
c. Dearness Allowance
d. Overtime Allowance
e. Night Duty Allowance
f. National Holiday Allowance
g. Dress Allowances
h. Nursing Allowance
i. Hospital Patient Care Allowance (HPCA) & Patient Care Allowance (PCA).
j. Children Education Allowance
k. Family Planning Allowance
l. Cash Handling And Treasury Allowance
m. Fixed Conveyance Allowance
n. Fixed Medical Allowance
o. Unreported Allowances
B. AREA SPECIFIC ALLOWANCES.
a. Special Compensatory (Hill Area) Allowance.
b. Special Duty Allowances
c. Tribal Area Allowance
C. DEPARTMENT SPECIFIC ALLOWANCES.
a. Update Allowance
b. Qualification Incentive Scheme (QIS)
c. Nuclear Research Plant Supporting Allowance (NRPSA)
d. Risk & Hardship Matrix
Further we request you to arrange a meeting with the office bearers of NFAEE to present our views in person, especially about the Allowances which are related to the employees of Department of Atomic Energy.
Cc: The Secretary
Department of Atomic Energy
The Jt. Secretary
Implementation Cell, Department of Expenditure
The Nodal Officer & Jt. Secretary (I&M)
Department of Atomic Energy
NOTE ON 7TH CPC RECOEMMENDATION ON ALLOWANCES
A. COMMON ALLOWANCES:
a. HOUSE RENT ALLOWANCE
Housing accommodation is provided to a small segment of the Civil Servants. While the percentage of satisfaction is very high at the senior level Officers, Employees at the lower levels are to depend upon the market for a dwelling place. Of late recruitment at Gr B and C levels in Central Govt Offices is on the basis of an all India Examination and the regional recruitment which was in prevalence a decade back has been dispensed with. Once, recruited, he/she is perforce to be posted outside his/her home state making it necessary to search for a dwelling unit at the place of his/her posting and compete with those workers in the private sector whose salary levels in certain cases are phenomenally high. Housing in the country, despite introduction of various projects, tax concessions etc, continues to be a seller’s paradise. A simple scrutiny of the rate of increase in the cost of construction and the rates quoted by the property dealers, real estate agents and tenant facilitators will reveal the extent of escalation in rent over the last a decade.
In Para 8.7.14 the 7th CPC has made a bald statement that with the increase in Basic pay most of the employees will be able to afford rented houses as per their entitlement. The Chart given under Para 8.7.14 indicates the rent increases over a period between 2006-14. The rent is shown to have gone up by 118% by 2014. The Commission has sourced the house rent index figures from AICPI (IW). We have no hesitation to state that the Commission’s observation based upon the most unreliable data must be discarded. Even according to the said data, which only indicates the figures upto 2014, the registered increase was 118%. The progression between 2009 to 2014 from 136 to 168 gives an average increase of 22 points. This reads as much similar to the progression of the AICPI (IW) prepared by the Indian Labour Bureau Shimla, whose commodity prices have been adopted by the 7 CPC for minimum Wage computation.
How divorced those rates are from the reality in the market has been explained with facts and figures in our letter dated 10.12.2015 to the Chairman, Empowered Committee of Secretaries. Even if one bases the computation on such unreliable data, the hypothetical progression of the housing index by end of 2015 shall be 279-290 which warrant an increase by 136%.
Relating the index figures indicated in chart under Para 8.7.14 to the DA percentage as on 1.1.2016.(125%), the ratio obtaining both in H1 and H2 i.e. 123 to 260 (2014) and 126 to 268 (2014) are 2.11 and 2.13 respectively. If the same is calibrated to 125% as on 1.1.2016, the ratio shall be 2.64 and 2.66. This will necessitate raising the HRA to 33.13% in Metro Cities, 22% in Y Class Cities and 11.12% in Z class towns.
The hypothetical progression on average basis will also make it necessary to compensate housing expenses at 29.7% in Metro Cities and 19.74% in Y class Cities and 9.87% in Z class towns.
The Commission is on record to state that the house rent factor in AICPI (IW) is on an average 15.27. The 6th CPC has indicated the factor at 8.67 and has been on record to state that the factor is not uniform at all places. The rates between Metro cities and small towns vary violently. This apart the Commission has applied a factor of 0.8 to all allowances, which are not cost indexed on the specious plea that wages per- se has been increased. While the Basic wages registered a paltry rise of 14% over a period of ten years (1.4% per annum) how justified is the stand of 7th CPC to apply a factor 0.8 to suppress the quantum of allowances is beyond comprehension. The Commission has proceeded with the assumption that the grant of 30,20 and 10% of the determined basic pay was a full and perfect reimbursement of expenses incurred by the Government employees on housing, which is undoubtedly erroneous as could be evidenced from the observation of the 6th CPC itself. Even if all these untenable contentions of 7 CPC and the unreliable statistics are taken into account, still it is clear that in order to maintain the present compensation level, the commission ought to have maintained the status quo in respect of rates of HRA and should not have reduced it by the application of 0.8 factor. We, therefore, request for the reasons adduced above, that the HRA may be retained at the levels determined by 6th CPC i.e. 30, 20, and 10 per cent of Basic pay for X,Y, Z class of cities and towns respectively.
b. TRANSPORT ALLOWANCE
Since the 7th CPC has decided to raise the minimum wage by 14.29%. The fixed Transport Allowance also ought to have been raised by the same percentage over and above the quantum obtained on the application of the multiplication factor of 2.25. Accordingly, the Transport Allowance with DA component should also enhanced by 14.22%. If that be the case the first slab in Metro and non metro cities would be Rs.8224 and Rs.4112 respectively. Taking into account the cushion available for Officers who are in Pay Level 9 and above, we suggested first slab at Rs 8200 and 4100 respectively for Metro and non metro cities.
Those in the PB1 drawing pay above Rs. 7,440/- will stand to lose on implementation of the 7th CPC recommendations. As on 1.1.2016, all of them are presently drawing Rs 3600 as TPTA. Once the recommendations are accepted their TPTA will get reduced to Rs 1350/- We solicit the kind reference of the Committee to the observation of 7th CPC to Para 8.15.52 which is reproduced hereunder.
“The second issue is whether Transport Allowance should be the same for all personnel posted at the same place. Here the Commission feels that a question of status of employees involved and hence, complete parity is not possible.”
The Number of employees in Level 1 and 2 who were below 7,440/- is very insignificant. The MTS, on recruitment get Rs. 7000/- as pay. Either a promotion to the next higher grade or the annual increments will enable him to cross the 7440 in a period of 3 years. The moot question is whether for the purpose of maintaining the status, the low paid workers must be kept in perpetual penury or not. Without compromising the recommendations of 7 CPC (i.e. complete parity is not possible) the suggestion made by the Staff Side in its memorandum dated 10/12/2015 may be accepted making two levels as under:
|PAY LEVELS||TRANSPORT ALLOWANCE|
|A 1 CITIES||OTHER CITIES|
|Level 9 and above||Rs 8200 + DA||4100+DA|
|Below Level 9||Rs.4100+DA||2050+DA|
The transport allowance, when it was introduced was made to be fully exempt from the ambit of Income tax. Prior to the implementation of the 6th CPC the transport allowance had a maximum ceiling of Rs. 800/-. The I.T. Act provided for an exemption upto the level of Rs. 800. However, when the revision took place in 2006, the consequential rise in the quantum of exemption under I.T. Act was not made with the result that a portion of the Transport allowance became taxable. It is, therefore, necessary that the exemption which was available for Transport allowance must be re-introduced with an inbuilt provision to take care of the increase that would come about as and when the DA rates are increased.
The Dearness Allowance (DA) is regulated based on the Price Index of the Labour Ministry which have been sourced from Labor Bureau, Shimla. It has been established that the rates quoted by the Labour Bureau was far less than that of the real rate during that period across the country.
While working out the Minimum Pay we found the following erroneous mistakes in the data provided by the Labor Bureau, Shimla:
· The rate quoted by Labor Bureau is unbelievable and misguiding. For example, the rate of whole Wheat at Ernakulam, Mundakkayam, Quilon, Talcher, Ghaziabad, Asansole, Durgapur, Haldia, Howrah, Jalpaiguri, Kolkatta, etc. shown as Rs 5 to 10 where as other places of the country the rate was shown as Rs 15 to 35.
· Similarly when the rate of Wheat Atta verified the rate at Tinsukia, Silchar, Jorhat, Tezpur, Himachal; Pradesh, Darjiling, Jalapiguri, Siliguri recorded as Rs 2 to 10 when other places in the country the rate was recorded as Rs 20 to 40.
· Another disparity was seen in the rate of Whole Wheat and Wheat Atta. This also recorded in places like Himachal Pradesh, Giridih, Ranchi, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Darjiling, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, etc. It has been gone such an extend make the system as mockery at Darjeeling Whole wheat is costing Rs 13.55 and Wheat Atta cost Rs 2.11 and in Jalapiguri Whole wheat costs 10.59 and for Atta just Rs 3.01 and at Siliguri Whole wheat costs Rs 13.05 and for Atta just Rs5.08. It is only the Labor Bureau, Shimla how the rate of Whole Wheat shall be higher than Wheat Atta at the same location as there are processing charges of grinding, packing etc involved.
· Also it found that the rate of various items are stationary for years together, where as in market the rate s are fluctuating upword in every months.
Under this circumstance the data for evolving Price Index to derive the DA entitlement for Government Employees should be authentic and transparent.
Further it is noted that the Price Index is deriving by taking 12 months average of the commodities values and deriving the DA for 6 months. So repeated taking into consideration of the previous 6 month average which already commuted to derive the DA, which is not justifiable and hence the 6 month average only should be taken for calculating DA.
d. OVERTIME ALLOWANCE
In Para 8.17.97 of the Report the 7th CPC has 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 decided 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”.
OTA rates were last revised in the year 1987, i.e. about 30 years before. Even though 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/- whereas 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.
The issue was agitated before the Board of Arbitration, having settled for a disagreement at the National Council. The Board of Arbitration had categorically stated that the allowance must be linked with the Basic Pay and should not be based upon imaginary or notional amount. In contravention to the solemn assurance given at the time of setting up the JCM, the Government moved resolution before Parliament, which is still pending. The 7th CPC recommendation is without factoring facts and therefore the Committee should recommend to the Government that as an when workers are deployed for overtime, they must be paid the OTA based upon the Pay of the concerned individual worker. In other words, the OTA has to be twice the hourly duty salary of the concerned employee with the other stipulations under the Rules.
Current levels of Overtime Allowance for those employees who are not covered by statutory provisions are regulated based on the pay structure as on 31.12.1995.
There are certain Departments carry out its activities in the Round the Clock shift to continue the activities for uninterrupted functioning. In such establishment it is equally binding on the worker to continue in their duty, if their reliever has took leave or could not report to duty due to emergency etc. Department like, Postal, Defence, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, etc are some of major Departments having the Round the Clock Shift duty. Runs
In the Scientific Establishments like Department of Atomic Energy its activities of the R& D units are similar to the Industrial nature of job. But being R&D establishments, such units has not been brought under the purview of Statutory Rules and hence denying the Revised overtime Allowances, though such departments brought under Rule promulgate by the Government of India similar to the Statutory Rules. (For example Department of Atomic Energy introduced Atomic Energy Factories Rule in conformity with Factories Act)
In such situation, employees who are compelled to continue their duty after their normal duty should be compensated with proper wages. The present rate of Overtime Allowance calculating hypothetically relating to the pay of the 4th CPC is much lesser than the daily wages of an unskilled casual worker.
Therefore Government should increase the rate of OTA for those employees who are not covered by statutory provisions are regulated based on the new pay structure and OTA rate prevails in the Department.
e.NIGHT DUTY ALLOWANCE
7 CPC vide their recommendation in Para 8.17.77 proposed to revise the Night Duty Allowance and suggested to extend to all employees across all ministries/departments who were already in receipt of Night Duty Allowance (NDA).
Since Night Duty Allowance is extended to the night workers as compensation to recognise the nature of night work as stated the Night Work Convention, 1990 of International Labour Organisation, the Night Duty Allowance should extend to all employees who are performing the Night duty irrespective of their pay and grade.
Accordingly we propose to the Government to make necessary amendments in the 4th recommendation contain in the above referred para No. 8.17.77 so that all employees performing night duty shall get the Night Duty Allowance.
f.NATIONAL HOLIDAY ALLOWANCE
The 7th CPC has recommended to revise the National Holiday Allowance in Para No. 8.6.11
“Recommended to increase by 50% to the non gazetted Railway employees who are rostered to work on a “National Holiday. The rate of Allowance will further increase by 25% each time DA rises by 50%”
There are employees working in the similar condition to that of Railways on “National Holidays” in other Ministries and Departments such as Defence, Postal, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, etc. where the employees working in round the clock shift irrespective of holidays to continue the activities un interrupted as in Railways. .
All non gazetted employees of these departments who are regularly working in National Holidays also should extended the National Holiday Allowances
Pay Commission Recommended on Dress Allowance vide Para No. 8.16.14 that
“all uniform related Allowances be subsumed in a single Allowance namely Dress Allowance.”
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 staffs of Postal department is getting more than Rs.5000/- for uniform plus washing allowance. Hence it should be made clear under which category the Postmen and MTS staffs of Postal department are to be included, in the dress allowance table recommended by the 7th CPC.
Further the Pay Commission recommended subsumes various other factors such as washing Allowances, Shoe Allowances, etc.
Washing Allowances for Nursing Staff was at higher rate considering the importance of the hygienic conditions. Nursing Staff use to get Rs. 750 as Uniform Allowance and Rs450 as washing Allowance per month. It means in a year Nurses use to get Rs 14400 (750 + 450 X 12 = 14400).
Similarly Shoe Allowances has been given to various para military staff and other security personnel to maintain the proper dress code, etc.
Thus it has been right away snatched by subsuming it with Dress Allowance and hence the amount of Rs. 10000/- (which is much less than what they were getting already) for Dressing Allowance shall be meagre amount to maintain the dress code for various categories of employees such as Nurses, Security Personnel in the para Military forces such as CRPF, CISF, Security forces of various Departments, etc. Police
Considering the various factors of subsuming Uniform allowance, washing allowance, Shoe Allowance, etc. ceiling for Dress Allowance should be enhanced further.
Accordingly suggest Dress Allowance should be raised to Rs 20,000/- p.a. from the proposed Rs10,000/-
h. NURSING ALLOWANCE
The 6th CPC granted this allowance to the Nursing staff in Government run hospitals taking into account the hazardous, and arduous nature of jobs they are entrusted with. The 6th CPC had granted a lump sum of Rs. 4800 to all Nursing Staff. No doubt they were also granted certain other allowances, viz. the Uniform allowance, Washing Allowance and messing allowance etc. It could be seen that the quantum of Rs. 4800 works out to be 34.53% of the PB and Grade Pay of a new entrant. With the other related allowances, it had amounted to Rs. 6075. Since the Washing Allowance and the Uniform allowance would be subsumed in the newly created Dress Allowance, they will still stand to lose messing allowance of Rs. 75/-. This apart, it may be noted that the washing allowance for the Nursing Staff was far greater than other uniformed personnel for their requirement emanating from the characteristics of their job was considered higher. The Pay commission’s observation that the Nursing Allowance is already at an appropriate level is bereft of any logic in the absence of details as to how the Commission has come to this conclusion. As indicated above the allowance was at the level of 34.53% of the minimum of a new entrant or at 21.73 of the mean of the minimum and maximum of the pay band. If the same percentages are applied to the minimum and mean of the pay scale at Level 7 of the 7th CPC, the Nursing Staff would be entitled to the Nursing allowance at Rs. 14,995 and 15503 respectively.
If the general principle enunciated by the Commission is applied, the allowance will have to be enhanced by the multiplication factor of 2.25, which works out to Rs. 10800. We request the Committee to look into the matter and take appropriate decision to raise the Nursing allowance. For the reasons mentioned in the preceding para, the Nursing staffs is entitled for a different treatment in respect of washing allowance
i. HOSPITAL PATIENT CARE ALLOWANCE (HPCA) & PACIAENT CARE ALLOWANCE (PCA)
The Pay Commission recommended to bring the HPCA and PCA under the Risk and Hardship Matrix and recommended vide in Para 8.10.70 that HPCA and PCA shall be in the Cell R1H3 by subsuming the HPCA and PCA.
It further recommends that HPCA and PCA should not be extended to the Ministerial staff working on the premises of the hospital area carries the risk of communicable disease.
By virtue of abolition of Group D post, now the HPCA and PCA shall be eligible only for Group C employees.
We suggest that as per the existing provision the ministerial staff working on the premises of the hospital area carries the risk of communicable disease should continue the HPCA and PCA as per the recommended Risk and Hardship Matrix.
Similarly, the employees’ changes their grade by virtue of promotion in to Group B, but the nature of job is continue the same should extend the HPCA and PCA as per the recommended Risk and Hardship Matrix.
j. CHILDREN EDUCATION ALLOWANCE
The recommendation of the 7th CPC not to extend the ambit of Children Education allowance to the Graduate and Post Graduate level is, in our opinion, not based on any sound principle. An employee is confronted with a drop in emoluments when his child is to prosecute higher studies beyond the higher Secondary level as the children education allowance gets dispensed with. . Unlike in the secondary level of education, the Governmental institutions are comparatively lesser. Most of the private institutions charge exorbitant amount of fees. The 7th CPC has recognised these facts, which were brought to its notice through our written memorandum and oral submissions. We request the Committee to look into this aspect and consider extending the benefit of CEA to the Graduate and post graduate levels at least to the extent of the fees and hostel fees on par with the rate of the Governmental institutions as the maximum admissible amount.
k. FAMILY PLANNING ALLOWANCE
The discontinuance of this allowance is recommended by the 7th CPC on the ground that the incentive scheme has outlived its propose, if not entirely at least among the middle class who constitute the majority of the government employees. While we leave it to the Government’s wisdom of the continuance or otherwise of the scheme, we suggest that the benefit given earlier must out not to be withdrawn. In other words those who were granted the increment or allowance as the case may be allowed to retain it as otherwise it will result in a drop of emoluments for them.
l. CASH HANDLING AND TREASURY ALLOWANCE
In para 8.10.9 the 7th CPC has given the present rate of this allowance. If the Govt. is able to abolish the cash transactions altogether the recommendation of the Commission can have meaning and substance.. It could be seen that this allowance is related to the average quantum of Cash handled per month. In certain departments like Postal and Revenue, it is difficult to dispense with the cash transactions totally. Over the years the quantum of cash transaction might be reduced. Since the allowance is related to the quantum of cash transactions, it has an inbuilt mechanism to reduce the Governmental expenditure on this account over the years. In other words, the allowance will get reduced proportionately to the amount of cash transaction.
In tune with the general principles evolved by the commission, the cash handling – treasury allowances must be increased by 2.25 times as they are not cost indexed.
m. FIXED CONVEYANCE ALLOWANCE
This is an allowance which was not cost indexed. The demand that the same must be cost indexed like the TPTA was rejected by a perfunctory remark by the 7 CPC that the “demand lack merit”. In the next sentence, the Commission, however, recommend that the allowance must go up by 25% each time DA rises by 50%.
While evolving the general principle, the Commission has stated that allowances that are in the nature of fixed amount and not DA indexed have generally been raised by a factor of 2.25. Conveyance allowance is a fixed amount. It ought to have been raised by the multiple factor of 2.25. No reason was adduced by the Commission in not doing so. Therefore, the fixed conveyance allowance must be raised as follows:
|Average Monthly Travel||By Motor Car||By other modes|
|Above 800 km||10125||2871|
n. FIXED MEDICAL ALLOWANCE
The fixed medical allowance is granted to retired personnel who are not covered by the CGHS. Vast majority of CG personnel are not covered under the CGHS for hardly 30 cities in the country have the CGHS facility. While the working employees are entitled for reimbursement of medical expenses including in-patient treatment, the retired personnel who are more in need of medical facilities had been left in the lurch. With the persistent persuasion, Govt. decided to grant a fixed amount as FMA as compensation to Pensioners to bear the cost of out-patient treatment. A paltry amount of Rs.500/- is granted to them presently as FMA. The 7th CPC has not examined the adequacy of this allowance. In the memorandum the Staff Side had submitted to the 7th CPC it had elaborately dealt with this issue and had demanded the need for enhancement in the light of escalation of prices of drugs in the country on account of the withdrawal of the administrative price mechanism as part of the introduction of the new economic policies. It would be pertinent to mention that the EPF pensioners get Rs. 2000/as FMA with effect from. 1.1. 2006/- It may also be noted that the No. of diabetic patients in the country has increased phenomenally over the last a decade as also the number of persons suffering from cardiac related diseases.. Most of the retired personnel suffer from these diseases and are required to spend a sizeable amount of their income on medicines.
In view of this, we demand that this allowance must be increased to Rs. 2000/- p.m.
o. UNREPORTED ALLOWANCES
The 7th CPC has made a sweeping remark that all allowances, which are not reported to it should be deemed to have been abolished. We appreciate that the said remark must have come out of exasperation. However, it has amounted to punishing employees for the negligence on the part of the concerned offices of the Department. We, therefore, demand that the allowances that are not reported to the commission may be enumerated with the help of the concerned departments and enhanced as per the general formula evolved by the 7th CPC.
B. AREA SPECIFIC ALLOWANCES.
a. SPECIAL COMPENSATORY (HILL AREA) ALLOWANCE.
The 7th CPC has abolished this allowance, which is provided to the employees whose offices are located at an altitude beyond 1000 metres. The hill areas are normally inaccessible and seldom rail connected. The Transportation of goods to these places is comparatively costlier than to Plains. There are many other difficulties like non availability of hospitals and doctors, housing accommodation, higher levels of prices for essential articles and other day to day needs. It was in consideration of all these, the allowance was originally conceived. Since all these difficulties are still in existence the decision to do away with this allowance is not sustainable.
Hence we request the Committee to retain this allowance.
b. SPECIAL DUTY ALLOWANCES:
Presently these allowances in different nomenclatures are given to the officers and employees posted at North Eastern Regions, (including Assam), (Special Duty allowance of North Eastern Region), Island Special duty allowance, for those posted in the Union Territory of Andaman, Nicobar Islands as also Lakshadweep and Tripura Special compensatory Remote locality allowance. Due to the difficult terrain and other logistical difficulties, employees and officers were reluctant to be posted to these areas. The Staff Side in the National Council introduced an item for the grant of certain special allowances for the employees posted in these regions in view of the high cost of living and such other difficulties including the terrorist activities. The Government had set up a committee to study the demand and the said committee in its report echoed what was stated in the Staff Side in their Agenda note for discussion. However, when the allowances were ultimately granted, the Government restricted it to only those personnel in All India Services with an all India Transfer liability as if the employees who are recruited and asked to work in those places had to face no problem at all. Against this discrimination the employees had to tread the path of agitation and the matter was also pursued through litigation by another section of the employees. The Court having found the discrimination untenable asked the Govt. to grant the allowance to the applicants. This created another piquant situation in as much as the allowances were granted to those who have gone to the court and denied for the vast majority of others. The matter was considered by the 6th CPC and that Commission recommended the grant of the special duty allowance to all personnel posted in NE Region including Assam, A & N Islands, Lakshadweep and those posted in Tripura. In the post 2006 era, the Government introduced another allowance to the officers in the organised Group A services and all India Services and the same was 25% of the salary. Therefore at the time of the 7th CPC, while the officers were in receipt of 37.5% of salary as SDA, the employees were given only 12.5%. The demand before the 7th CPC was to end this discrimination which had been earlier found to be untenable by the highest court of justice. The 7th CPC has recommended that SDA rates would be slashed by a factor of 0.8 and wherever the newly created Tough Area allowance is given, SDA will stand withdrawn. If the 7th CPC recommendation is accepted in toto, some of the employees will have lesser emoluments in this matter when compared to what they were getting prior to 2016. As has been pointed out elsewhere in the note the reduction by a factor of 0.8 is not at all justified when the increase in wages was of the order of 14%. The presumption that what has been recommended by the 6th CPC as compensation is full and perfect reimbursement of the total expenditure incurred by an official is erroneous. In the case of A & N Islands and Lakshadweep, the withdrawal of the SDA wherever the Tough area allowances are given will render large number of employees not entitled for SDA and consequent drop in their emoluments. We, therefore, request the Committee that
(i) The recommendation of the 7th CPC to the effect that where Tough area compensatory allowance is given, the SDA must be withdrawn should be rejected.
(ii) The reduction in the present rate of SDA of 12.5% by the multiplication factor of 0.8 for the reasons mentioned in the preceding paragraphs must be withdrawn.
(iii) The discrimination in the grant of SDA between the officers of All India services and the employees in these regions must be removed and all to be paid SDA at the same rate as what is applicable for the Group A officers.
c. TRIBAL AREA ALLOWANCE
In the CPC Report, the Tribal Area Allowance has been subsumed with Tough Location Allowances III and recommended accordingly equivalent to the Cell R3H3 of Risk and Hardship Matrix.
Since the State Government is authorised to declare the eligibility for Tribal Allowance, the conditionality specified by the State Government should adhered and the rate of allowance based on R3H3 should not be the Tribal Area Allowance recommended by the State Government concerned.
C. DEPARTMENT SPECIFIC ALLOWANCES
DEPARTMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY
a. UPDATE ALLOWANCE
Pay Commission Recommendations: Para No. 8.4.9
Recommended to increase the Profession Update Allowance by 50%
Update Allowance was introduced in the Department after the 5th CPC recommendations to all section of employees. The non gazette staff was introduced with Rs 3000/0- as Update Allowance. The Sixth Central Pay Commission while recommended to enhance the Updating Allowance to Rs 5000/- per year , it has been indexed with DAE and recommended to enhance by 25% when DA crosses to 50%. Accordingly all non gazette staff of the Department got Rs 7500/- per year as update Allowance for the year 2015.
While recommending enhancing the Update Allowance to the Gazetted Scientific community, the Pay Commission has not been recommended the increase in Update Allowance for Non Gazetted Employees of the Department.
It is therefore requested that the Update Allowance of all other section of employees who are covering under the recommendation of the Pay Commission also should be increased by 50%
b. QUALIFICATION INCENTIVE SCHEME (QIS)
Pay Commission Recommendations:
No specific recommendation
The Qualification Incentive scheme (QIS) introduced the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in its specific nuclear operating plants to ensure the safe operation, adopt higher safety measures, safe working procedure in nuclear plants by adhering to IAEA/AERB/BSC standards, etc. Every operational, maintenance persons in the nuclear plant shall be well trained, qualified and experienced to understand the intricacy of the safe operation and maintenance procedure of the nuclear plant.
For that purpose this scheme was introduced through a meticulous qualification process of completing the check list, examination, interview etc. The employees are qualified in five different levels depending on their responsibility qualification and experience. Accordingly the incentives are also paid in five different levels and yearly evaluated the performance.
Though 5th and 6th Pay Commission has been given recommendation on QIS, the 7th CPC has not been given any specific reference regarding the Qualification Incentive, though we demanded to increase the QIS.
Hence, we request to retain the Qualification Incentive Scheme and enhance by 2.25 times of the existing amount.
c. NUCLEAR RESEARCH PLANT SUPPORTING ALLOWANCE (NRPSA)
Pay Commission Recommendations: Para No. 8.17.82
Recommended to continue and recommended to increase the NRPSA by multiplying a factor of 1.5.
Further recommended to restrict NRPSA upto Level 5 with two slabs.
The recommendation by the Pay Commission was without considering the back ground of the introduction of the NRPSA to compensate the extra work being carried out by the Round the Clock shift personnel. The Department also failed to convince the CPC Thus the NRPSA should be revised to its actual wage for extra work being done by all employees working in the Round the Clock Shift duty, irrespective of the level.
By restricting the NRPSA upto level 5 even 30% of the employees working in the Round the Clock shift will not get the Allowance.
NRPSA have been introduced based on an arbitration award to compensate the extra work being done by the Round the clock Shift personnel. NRPSA is being given in slab wise and a ceiling has been introduced. The extra work being done by the employees working in Round the Clock Shift comparing with the general shift people was compensated with NRPSA. Though the name of the allowance is NUCLEAR RESEARCH PLANT SUPPORTING ALLOWANCES, it is nothing but an allowance to compensate Extra Duty which was extended based on an arbitration award.
By putting a ceiling for NRPSA, all those employees performing the duty in the Round the Clock shift has not been getting the NRPSA, though they are eligible. At the present the employees having Rs 16670 as basic pay in Pay Band without considering the Grade Pay are eligible for NRPSA.
To ensure the allowance to all eligible employees, requested to the Pay Commission, to remove the ceiling for eligibility and revise the Allowance equal to the actual wage for the extra work. But the Pay Commission has not been considered the same and just increased by 50% and eligibility restricted upto level 5 employees. By this recommendation, instead of extending NRPSA to all eligible employees, a good number of employees who are getting the allowance also kept out of the purview of NRPSA. Further the senior most employees of DAE also have to perform in Round the Clock Shift Duty due to the peculiar nature of nuclear plants.
Comparing the working hours with the General Shift people, the Staff working in the Round the Clock Shift are working man days equal to 20 days. This was compensated by the arbitrator and awarded to extend compensation for their extra work. Therefore they are eligible for extra wages for 20 days.
Without prejudiced to the demand for actual wages for the extra duty, the recommendation of the Pay Commission to enhance the NRPSA by just 50% also is against the analogy adopted by the pay commission. Almost all Allowances which are not indexed with DA, has been enhanced by 2.25 times of the existing rate and those Allowances indexed with DA increase has been recommended an increase of 50% of the existing rate.
Therefore we propose the following to remove the discrepancies in the recommendation on NRPSA by the Pay Commission:
Ø NRPSA should be renamed as EXTRA DUTY ALLOWANCE
Ø NRPSA should be given on actual wages for the extra work being done by the Round the Clock shift personnel.
Ø Ceiling on NRPSA should be removed and ensure that all eligible employees should get the NRPSA.
Ø Without prejudice to the above demands, it is suggested that Government should ensure that all employees getting the allowance as on that day of the implementation the recommendations of 7th CPC should ensured NRPSA at the rate of 2.25 times of the existing rate of NRPSA.
Ø At present an employee with Grade Pay of Rs4800 is eligible for NRPSA. Till final decision on extending NRPSA to all employees, those who are in the Level 8 should be extended NRPSA.
d. RISK & HARDSHIP MATRIX
Pay Commission Recommendations: Para No. 8.10.66
A new methodology derived the Pay Commission to work out the quantum of risk and hardship involved in the work and accordingly divided into 9 based on the Low, medium, and High Risk with Low, Medium and High hardship.
Based on the new terminology of Risk and Hardship Matrix, the factor of Risk and Hardship involved in the activities in Nuclear Installations and in the Chemical plants considering the material handling by the workers should be reviewed.
Considering the functional intricacies of the organization especially taking into account the fact that the nature of occupation of employees in the area of high level nuclear radiation warranting a special allowance. The employees working in various DAE units are exposed to radiation as well as to the highly toxic gases, etc. It is worth to mention that some departments are already granted Risk Allowance to ‘X –Ray’ Attendants, which is an insignificant Radiation exposure occupation than the DAE employees working in various nuclear plants/laboratories etc.
Based on the above mentioned concept, a Risk allowance should be worked out to the DAE employees who are exposed to high level of nuclear radiation, highly hazardous gases, etc.
e. PROJECT ALLOWANCE
Pay Commission Recommendations: Para No. 8.10.40
Recommended to continue and to be paid as per cell R3H2 of the newly proposed risk and Hardship Matrix. Project Allowance granted to the employees to compensate for lack of amenities like Schools, Housing facilities, Medical facilities, etc. at the places of construction of major projects.
There are ongoing projects of the Department of Atomic Energy at Vizag, Chitradurg, etc., and all projects are at isolated place and facilities are not available.
Hence the Project Allowance should be paid as per Cell R3H2 of the newly proposed Risk & Hardship Matrix to the projects at various places.
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