Big Gifts For 50 Lakh Govt Employees Announced: Travel Allowance, Home Allowance & More!
In March 2020, the Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur announced a hike/revision of 4% in the Dearness Allowance received by central govt employees and pensioners, under the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, which was to come under effect from January 1, 2021.
This means that over 50 lakh central government employees and 61 lakh pensioners will receive a DA hike of 21% from 17%. Currently, the Dearness Allowance is being paid at 17%.
Central government employees have been waiting for their Dearness Allowance for almost a year and a half. The Finance ministry had commented that the three pending DA instalments for all the 1.13 crore recipients will be restored all at once in the revised rates, effective from July 1, 2021.
The three instalments of DA and Dearness Relief to central government employees and pensioners are due from 1.1.2020, 1.7.2020 and 1.1.2021.
It is expected that the meeting scheduled on June 26 will bring in positive notifications on the same for central government employees.
Meanwhile, these employees now have a series of reasons to celebrate, as the government has announced increased Travelling Allowance (TA), medical benefits, pension benefits under the NPS and House Building Advance (HBA) benefits to central government employees.
Extended Dates for Travel Allowances
The time limit for submitting Travelling Allowance (TA) claims has been increased from 60 days to 180 days now, as per the government order, which will come under effect from June 15, 2021.
In the Office Memorandum, the undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s OM dated March 13, 2018, wherein the time limit for submission of claims for TA on Tour/ Transfer/ Training/ Journey on retirement was changed from 1 year to 60 days, succeeding the date of completion of the journey, states Zee News.
The Government had been receiving a number of requests to extend the TA claims for retired central govt employees who shifted to their hometowns along with their families after getting retired, and were facing difficulties while claiming TA within a period of 60 days of completing their journeys.
House Building Advance (HBA) Benefits
The central government employees will be now provided House Building Advance benefits, at a rate of interest of 7.9% for a period of 18 months, from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.
This proposal was announced by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs Housing-III through an Office Memorandum, in extension of the House Building Advance (HBA) 2017.
Medical Reimbursement Increase
The central employees of Navodaya Vidyalaya School (NVS) can now make use of an increased medical reimbursement by the government, in addition to the hiked DA.
The Ministry of Education issued a circular, as per which the limit of the medical claims of NVS principals is increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000.
The target employees as well as their families can avail this benefit if they undergo treatment in either a government hospital or any hospital owned by the central government.
Trak.in had informed in an article dated June 25, of the Government’s initiative to send pension slips to about 62 lakh central government pensioners via SMS and emails to ensure ‘Ease of Living’ of these pensioners.
The Central Government employees under the National Pension System (NPS) can now choose to avail benefits from the pension corpus deposited under the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) or NPS in the event of their death.
This is possible under Rule 10 of the Central Civil Services (Implementation of NPS) Rules, 2021.
However, this route of availing pension benefits is not extended to the family of the deceased beneficiary.
If the central employee does not choose this option, then the benefit under the old pension scheme will be available automatically for the first 15 years of the service. After this, he will have the option of default NPS.