ISLAMABAD, Sept 6: The government has raised conveyance allowance for all civil and armed forces’ personnel serving in pay scale 19 and below by up to 102 per cent and doubled the leave encashment for all employees with immediate effect in an apparent move to woo bureaucrats in the lead-up to elections.
Rana Asan Amin, the finance ministry’s spokesman and adviser, however, said the increase was not politically motivated, describing it as part of a policy to improve service benefits for government employees.
He said revision of conveyance allowance, the second in three months, had been made to remove anomalies and rationalise the increase for different pay scales. In the earlier revision, which went into effect on July 1, there was a larger increase in conveyance allowance of civil servants in grades 16-19 than for those in lower ranks.
According to a notification, the allowance for grades 1-4 has been increased from Rs1,150 to Rs1,700 per month by 48 per cent or Rs550. The employees in grades 5-10 have been given an increase of 60 per cent – Rs690 – from Rs1,150 to Rs1,840 per month. The employees in grades 11-15 have been allowed an increase of 60 per cent or Rs1,020 per to Rs2,720 per month from the previous Rs1,700. The employees in grades 16-19 have got an increase of 102 per cent, or Rs2,520 per month, to Rs5,000 from Rs2,480.
The new rates have become effective from Sept 1 and will also “be admissible to all the personnel of the armed forces in the pay scales equivalent to the BPS 1-19”.
The officers in grades 20-22 have already been granted an additional monthly allowance of Rs75,000 to Rs95,000 on condition of surrendering their official vehicles that have been sold to them at depreciated prices.
However, most of the federal secretaries continue to use more than two official cars despite claiming Rs95,000 per month as transport allowance.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has ordered an inquiry, by three secretaries, into the exploitation of the transport monetisation policy.
Separately, the prime minister has amended the Revised Leave Rules, 1980, under the Civil Servants Act of 1973 to change Rule 17 and 18-A to replace the words “one hundred and eighty” with “three hundred and sixty-five”. The amended rules make it mandatory that encashment of leave preparatory to retirement not exceeding 365 days shall be effective retrospectively from July 1 this year for employees retiring after that date.
The facility of encashment of LPR shall also be applicable to employees of the autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies under the administrative control of the federal government which may have adopted the basic pay scales scheme and these rules.
Moreover, the leave pay for the purpose of encashment shall be computed on the basis of pay and allowances reckonable towards pension as shown in the last pay certificate of a civil servant.
The spokesman said the facility had been allowed because in most cases the employees could not take financial benefit of more than six months at the time of retirement even if they had outstanding leave of more than a year.
He said the employees in most cases were compelled not to avail privilege leave due to their job requirements and pressure from their seniors but at the end of their employment they were allowed only 180 days of leave encashment and the remaining outstanding leave usually went down the drain. Therefore, the employees have been given a facility to cash 365 days of their remaining leave before their retirement.