With the government accepting most of the recommendations of the Committee on Allowances (CoA), many of the allowances allocated to Central government employees have been abolished. Among the allowances that the committee headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa had recommended to abolish is a "family planning allowance" availed by government employees. The Cabinet Secretary, the highest-ranking bureaucrat in the government, will no longer get his monthly entertainment allocation.
Recommending abolition of a number of allowances, the CoA referred to the seventh Central Pay Commission's report, which had examined 196 allowances given to different categories of central government employees. The CoA submitted its report on April 27 after which the government decided to accept its recommendations with 34 modifications.
The decision on revising the allowances was approved at a meeting of the Union cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on June 28 and formal orders were issued on July 6.
Here are some of the allowances given to central government employees that have now been abolished:
* Family planning allowance (Rs 210 to Rs 1,000 per month)
* Diet allowance of Rs 200 (Given to deputationists in the Bureau of Immigration)
* Haircutting allowance of Rs 5 per month (Given to CISF personnel below officer rank)
* Haircutting allowance of Rs 90 per month (Given to Group 'B' and 'C' combat personnel of Assam Rifles)
* 'Soap toilet' allowances (Given to select categories of employees)
* Entertainment allowance of Rs 10,000 (Granted to the cabinet secretary to entertain distinguished visitors)
* Investigation allowance (Given in Serious Fraud Investigation Office, Ministry of Corporate Affairs)
* 'Secret' allowance given to officers working in the Cabinet Secretariat (Granted for dealing with top secret papers and performing sensitive duties)
Cycle, funeral allowances revised
The 'cycle' and 'funeral' allowances, which were recommended to be abolished by the pay commission, have been retained by the government. A cycle allowance of Rs 90 is paid when duties attached to the post require extensive use of bicycles and officials concerned have to use and maintain their own cycles for official journeys.
No demands regarding cycle allowance were received by the panel.
The pay commission felt this allowance was outdated and should be abolished. However, the government not only retained it but doubled the amount to Rs 180 for the Department of Posts and Railways
A funeral allowance of Rs 6,000 is granted on the death of an employee in peace areas; mortuary charges are reimbursed to defence personnel. Demands were received by the pay commission to extend the allowance to all civilian employees and for a four-fold increase in rates.
The panel was of the view that with the pay raises provided by successive pay commissions, this kind of an allowance had lost its meaning. The government revised this allowance to Rs 9,000.