7th CPC Transport Allowance - A look back
Transport Allowance (TPTA) is granted to cover the expenditure involved in commuting between place of residence and place of duty. The existing rates are as under:
Moreover, officers drawing GP 10000 and higher, who are entitled to the use of official car, have the option to avail themselves of the existing facility or to draw the TPTA at the rate of ₹7,000+DA pm. Differently abled employees are granted this allowance at double the rate, subject to a minimum amount of ₹1,000 plus DA.
Many representations have been received regarding Transport Allowance. Most of them advocate granting the allowance at the same rate to all employees, irrespective of their place of posting, on the grounds that fuel prices affect everybody equally.
Analysis and Recommendations : The Commission notes that TPTA is fully DA-indexed. The first issue to be considered is whether the rate of Transport Allowance should be the same for all places. There are arguments both for and against this view.
Proponents of the idea argue that petrol prices are almost same everywhere. Moreover, public transport system is better developed in many of the A1/A Class cities, thereby reducing the cost of commuting significantly. The argument, therefore, is that A1/A category places do not need to have a higher rate.
Opponents point out that the categorization of A1/A has been abolished for other purposes (like HRA, CCA) but retained for Transport Allowance. Incidentally, only 13 cities fall under this categorization: six in A1, viz., Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, Greater Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and seven in A, viz., Ahmedabad, Surat, Nagpur, Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow and Kanpur. Recently, six more cities, viz., Patna, Kochi, Kozhikode, Indore, Coimbatore and Ghaziabad have been added to A1/A categories, making it nineteen in all. (Incidentally, vide a recent notification No. 21(2)/2015-E.II(B) dated 06.08.2015, the use of term “A1/A” has been dropped for these nineteen cities. Hence, the Commission will refer to these nineteen cities as “Higher TPTA cities.”). In all these places the commuting distances are far more than in other cities. Moreover, the public transport system is not as developed as it should be in all these places. Therefore, it is argued, the distinction should remain.
After considering both the viewpoints, the Commission is of the view that by and large the commuting distances and associated difficulties involved in Higher TPTA cities are much more compared to other places. Hence, the argument that the distinction should stay is a valid one.
The second issue is whether Transport Allowance should be the same for all personnel posted at the same place. Here the Commission feels that a question of status of employee is involved and hence, complete parity is not possible.
Regarding the optimal rate of Transport Allowance, the Commission notes that the allowance is already fully DA indexed. Therefore, since DA has already reached 119 percent and is likely to rise further before the implementation of our report, the following rates of Transport Allowance are recommended:
Officers in Pay Level 14 and higher, who are entitled to the use of official car, will ave the option to avail themselves of the existing facility or to draw the TPTA at the rate of ₹15,750+DA pm. Differently abled employees will continue to be paid at double rate, subject to a minimum of ₹2,250 plus DA.
JCM Staff Side suggestion on Transport Allowance : The 5th CPC had introduced transport allowance for employees working in classified towns on account of various factors like unprecedented growth of city limits, increase in volume of traffic and non availability of residential accommodation at reasonable rents near offices, which are usually located in the heart of cities. If these were the factors it appears that the 5th CPC did not take into account that it is usually a low paid employee who finds residence at a very long distance from his office whereas officers are offered residences very near to their offices. If, therefore, transport allowance was meant to defray the transportation charges from residence to office and back the higher rates should have been recommended for the low paid employees who were residing at a distant places. Since the 6th CPC‟s
recommendation in this regard was implemented, there had been several rounds of increase in the fuel charges making a cascading impact on the public transport fares.
Taking these factors into account, we suggest that the following rates of transport allowance may please be recommended.
At first glance, both transport allowance and traveling allowance might look the same. But, the two are very different for Central Government employees. Recent spate of orders issued by the DOPT and Finance Ministry on TRAVELLING ALLOWANCE was the inspiration behind this write-up.
- Pay Range X classified city Y classified towns.
Pay upto Rs. 75,000 Rs. 7500 + DA Rs. 3750 +DA
Above Rs. 75,000 Rs. 6500 +DA Rs. 3500+ DA
In its order last week, the DOPT said that senior officers who have to travel by air for official purposes may not have to submit the boarding passes while settlement of TA claims. They will have to henceforth submit the passes only when required. The very next day, the Finance Ministry issued an order that made it mandatory for senior officials to submit boarding passes alongwith TA bills for air journey performed on Government account.
The concept of Transport Allowance was introduced by the 5th CPC to defray the cost of commuting between residence and office. The 6th CPC while recommending CCA to be subsumed in Transport Allowance. Transport Allowance is given to the Central Government employees for their everyday commute to and from the workplace. Based on their Grade Pay or Band Pay, this could be anything between Rs. 400 to Rs. 3200 per month. It also depends on the population of the city or town where the office is located. Transport allowance is twice the normal amount for physically challenged employees.
Travelling allowance is given to employees who have to travel out of station for official work. There are a number of rules, guidelines and restrictions that control travelling allowance. DOPT and the Ministry of Finance issues amendment orders related to travelling allowances from time to time.
Traveling allowance differs based on the employee’s grade pay. The ‘Grade Pay’ for determine the TA/DA entitlement is as indicated in Central Civil Service(RP)Rules 2008. Depending on the grade pay, the employee has to opt for the appropriate class of accommodation while travelling via bus, train, ship or by aeroplane. The employee can refund only that amount that he is entitlement for. The Finance Ministry order published on 23.9.2008, OM explained the details of the Travelling allowance and entitlements for Government officials as per title given below…
Government officials on Tour : Travelling Allowance and Entitlements, Entitlement for journeys on tour and travel entitlements within the country, International Travel Entitlement, Mileage allowance for journeys by road, Daily Allowance, Travelling allowance on Transfer, Transfer Grant and Packing Allowance, Transportation of Personal Effects, Transportation of Conveyance, Travelling allowance Entitlement of Retiring employees, Lumpsum Transfer Grant and Packing Allowance
Daily Allowance : If the official tour on is of longer duration, then the employee is paid Daily Allowance to meet his boarding and lodging expenses. This too depends on the Grade pay of the employee. This is what is known as TA/DA. While seeking the TA/DA claims, the employee has to present receipts and bills.
In this regard, the notification, that senior officials are not required to submit the boarding passes while seeking settlement of TA claims of their air travel expenses, was confusing.
The order is not applicable to Group ‘C’ employees. But some have misunderstood the order and have assumed that it was for the air travel facility that is available as part of the Leave Travel Concession.