Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 21
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has restrained the PGI and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from making further recovery of hospital patient care allowance (HPCA) paid to the employees who proceeded on leave for a calendar month or more.
In a petition, the PGI Employees Union (Non-faculty), the PGI Medical Technologists’ Association and Meenakshi, junior technician, PGI, submitted that on September 18, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, while revising the allowance under the 7th Pay Commission from Rs 2,100 to Rs 4,100 per month up to pay-level 8 and Rs 5,300 per month for pay-level 9 and above from July 1, 2017, ordered that the allowance would not be admissible in case employee proceeds on leave/training for equivalent or more than one calendar month.
The petitioners submitted that on October 4, the PGI released arrears to its eligible employees after issuing office orders on September 26. However, the authorities stopped the allowance of female employees on maternity and child care leave, which is more than one calendar month, and also male employees who proceeded on leave for one calendar month or more.
Further, a list of employees who went on leave for more than a calendar month between July 1, 2017, and September 30 this year, was prepared for making recoveries of the HPCA, they submitted.
Acting on the petition, the tribunal issued notice of motion for December 9. In the meantime, as an interim order, it restrained the respondents from making further recovery in pursuance of the impugned order dated September 18.
Union president Ashwani Kumar Munjal stated that the HPCA to health workers was being paid in the shape of risk allowance since April 1, 1987.
Earlier, the PGI made similar attempts in 2001 and 2002, which were opposed. On August 18, 2005, the union represented against this illegal and arbitrary action.
On May 11, 2006, the PGI and the ministry acceded to the request of the union to pay HPCA as risk allowance forms part of leave salary under the CCS (Leave) Rules, 1972, and its deduction made from October 17, 2002, to May 11, 2006, were refunded.
On December 17, 2012, the allowance was revised under the 6th Central Pay Commission with effect from September 1, 2008. The clause of its non-admissibility during leave was inserted again but in view of the 2006 order, the HPCA was not stopped during leave of more than one calendar month.
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