Parting Gift: Increase in Grants for Babus
At the fag end of its days in power, the UPA-II has given bureaucrats something to smile about. Former Prime Ministers and other high constitutional authorities got lucky when the Ministry of Urban Development changed an official order, making water and electricity free for them.
Fifty lakh Central employees saw their allowances go up as the DoPT passed an order giving them a parting bonanza.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order, however, said the increase came into force following a 100 per cent hike in Dearness Allowance for Central employees from January 1.
This increase in pay would primarily include a raise in reimbursement of children’s education fees, which will now be Rs.18,000 (Rs.1,500 per month). Prior to this, the ceiling was Rs.1,000 per month.
Central employees with differently-abled children will be provided Rs.36,000 as against Rs.30,000 per annum for their education. The hike will come into effect from January 1, 2014.
This was a much needed restructuring of allowance, not a gift and is still way below global standards, a DoPT official said.
Until recently, the facilities provided were confined to spacious bungalows in Lutyens Delhi or a preferred retirement destination anywhere in the country, but now, the Ministry of Urban Development has made water and electricity free for them. Interestingly, the Ministry passed the new order just days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demits office.