Ref: Confdn/Transport Allowance
Dated – 08.07.2020
The Cabinet Secretary
Government of India
New Delhi- 110 001
Sub: - Payment/Settlement of Transport Allowance to the Employees of National Library, Kolkata.
On the recommendations of the V CPC, Transport Allowance was introduced subsuming CCA W.e.f 1st January, 1997. After two revisions at par recommendation of VI and VII CPC, at present, admissibility of Transport Allowance under different conditions viz. Leave, Deputation, Tour and Suspension etc. is regulated under G.O.I, Min. of Finance, Dept. of Expenditure OM No. 21/5/2017E.II (B) dated 07.07.2017, as par Para 3(a) the Allowance will not be admissible for the calendar month(s) wholly covered by leave.
Incidentally it may kindly be noted that Govt. of India, Min. of Finance, Dept. of Expenditure has not yet clarification of “leave” as in the OM dated 17.07.2017 in the context of changed situation. Under normal dispensation Dept. of Expenditure is the competent authority to clarify/interpret or modify and provision relation to Transport Allowance.
On scrutiny of various OMs issued on different dates by MHA containing Guidelines, Advisories and Standard Operation Procedure as part of measures for containment of COVID-19, it is revealed that Offices of the Govt. of India, its Subordinate Offices other than exempted category are to function with 100% attendance of Deputy Secretary and levels above that. Remaining officers and staff are to attend up to 33%. Moreover, above guideline is subject to strict adherence to restrictions applicable to RED ZONE/CONTAINMENT ZONE. As per instructions, employees residing in such Zones can attend office only when allowed by the local authorities of concerned State Govt. etc. or restriction is relaxed. As per the above OMs the public transports including suburban train services were under total suspension till first 4 phases of lockdown. Further, as per Standard Operation Procedure of Min. of Health & Family Welfare, the period of work from home shall not be treated as leave.
A good number of employees who commute from considerable distant places could not attend the office during the months making own arrangement, although, they were inclined to attend their duties being physically present in the offices premises. Further, according to the guidelines of Min. of Health & Family Welfare as well as Ministry of Home Affairs is “to stay at home”, “work from home” to the extent possible, so as to curb the spread /outbreak of the COVID-19. During this period the entire surroundings of the National Library was under Containment Zone as per Govt. of West Bengal notification. In the Ministry of Home Affairs Order dated 15.04.2020 it was also clearly stated, “In these containment zones, the activities allowed under these guidelines will not be permitted…..that there is no unchecked inward/outward movement of population from these zones…..The guidelines issued in this regard…… will be strictly implemented….” Therefore some employee, though willing, could not come, even they have tried their best to join their duties.
This being an unprecedented situation, the condition of one-day attendance in a month, for payment of Transport Allowance, needs to be dispensed with and Transport Allowance for the month of April & May 2020 should not be disallowed.
Your immediate intervention in this matter is highly solicited with a request to issue revised direction to the administration of the National Library and Central Reference Library for payment/settlement of Transport Allowance for the month of April 2020, etc.
(R. N. Parashar)