Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Travelling Allowance for Attendant/ Escort accompanying Govt. employees with Disabilities - Memo Released

Dear Friends,

This is further to my earlier post titled "DoPT issued the Memorandum on Facilities for Govt. Employees for efficient performance of duties" dated 22 May 2014. Yesterday, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India has issued the below OM regarding Travelling Allowance in respect of Attendant.Escort for accompanying a Government Servant with Disabilities on travel during official tour or training or attending an official workshop etc. 

This was a long pending demand of the disability sector and also granted in the DoPT OM No.No.36035/3/2013-Estt.(Res) dated 31st March 2014 which has finally been fulfilled by Govt. of India. All the officials, activists and stakeholders involved in bringing this to reality deserve accolades. 

As per this OM, Government servants with disabilities can claim travelling allowances for their escorts, if the field office or local administrative offices, where they would be visiting for tour or training within the country or Indian Missions abroad, for overseas visits, officially express their inability to provide an attendant of their own.  Mileage allowance would be admissible to the escorts at the same rate and similar class of accommodation as government servants with disabilities are entitled for.

This OM will benefit nearly 6000 Central Government employees with disabilities alone and expected to be emulated by various states. 

Here is the content of the OM:

Travelling Allowance in respect of Attendant/Escort for accompanying a Government Servant with Disabilities on travel during tour/training etc.

No. 19030/3/2013-E.IV
Government of India
Ministry of Finance 
Department of Expenditure
******
North Block, New Delhi. 
Dated the 17th February, 2015.

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject:- Travelling Allowance in respect of Attendant/Escort for accompanying a Government Servant with Disabilities on travel during tour/training etc.

References have been received in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure seeking provision in the Rules/instructions regulating Travelling Allowance, in order to allow grant of Travelling Allowance to the Government servant with Disabilities in respect of an Attendant/Escort accompanying such a Government servant with Disabilities during travel while on tour/training, etc. At present there are no provisions in the Travelling Allowance rules which allows Government servants to claim Travelling Allowance in respect of Attendant/Escort accompanying them on tour/ training, etc. where such Government servants require the assistance of an Attendant/Escort for travel.

2. The matter has been considered and it has now been decided to allow Travelling Allowance in respect of the Attendant/Escort, for accompanying a Government servant with Disabilities during travel while on tour/training, etc., to be claimed by the Government servant with Disabilities. The admissibility of Travelling Allowance, in respect of the Attendant/Escort accompanying a Government servant with Disabilities, would be subject to the following conditions:-

(a) Ordinarily, the field offices/local administrative offices at the touring station, which the Government servant with Disabilities is required to visit on tour or training institutes where the Government servant with Disabilities is required to undergo training, would be required to provide an Attendant/Escort, from the existing pool of staff/persons employed, from the time the Government servant with Disabilities arrives at the destination and till such time the Government servant with Disabilities departs from that destination back to his headquarter station/place from where the Government servant with Disabilities had initially proceeded to that destination. During travel abroad, either on foreign tour/training, the Indian Missions/Posts (Embassy of India) at the country of visit would be required to .provide an Attendant/Escort, from the existing pool of staff/persons employed, during the period of stay of the Government servant with Disabilities in that country.

(b) Only when field offices/local administrative offices at the touring station or training institutes or Indian Missions/Posts at the country of visit, as the case may be, officially express their inability to provide an Attendant/Escort to the visiting Government servant with Disabilities, would the claim of Travelling Allowance in respect of Attendant/Escort accompanying the Government servant with Disabilities arise. In such cases, fare for travel of Attendant/Escort accompanying Government servant with Disabilities would be reimbursed. While for travel by air, Airlines are expected to provide assistance to Government.servant with Disabilities during travel as per Airlines policies, a Government servant with Disabilities however, can take along his personal Attendant/Escort for travel by Indian Railways for assistance during journey and boarding/de-boarding, even when an Attendant/Escort at destination station is provided officially.

(c) In all cases, Government servant with Disabilities are required to purchase travel tickets for self and Attendant/Escort at concessional rates, if any, offered by Railways/Airlines.

(d) The facility of Travelling Allowance for the Attendant/Escort would only be admissible to those Government servants with Disabilities, wherein it is certified by the competent Medical Authority that such a person compulsorily requires assistance of another person for travel. Under this clause, necessary certificate is to be obtained from the Head of Department of a Government Civil Hospital designated for the type/form of disability of the Government servant. Based on the certificate from competent Medical Authority, Heads of Departments would have to further satisfy the need for an Attendant/Escort during travel of the Government servant, before allowing the journey for the Attendant/Escort.

(e) Subject to clause (d) above, Travelling Allowance for the Attendant/Escort would be admissible to the Government servant with Disabilities while on tour (domestic or foreign). However, the authority deputing such a Government servant with Disabilities on tour would have to record in writing that the tour is considered necessary in the discharge of duties and responsibilities assigned to the Government servant with Disabilities.

(f) Subject to clause (d) above, Travelling Allowance for the Attendant/Escort would also be admissible to the Government servant with Disabilities when deputed on training provided it is recorded by the authority competent to depute such officials on training that such training is a mandatory training for career progression or induction training for probationers.

(g) Travelling Allowance consists of two parts; Mileage Allowance and Daily Allowance. No Daily Allowance would be admissible to the Attendant/Escort of the Government servant with Disabilities. Mileage Allowance would be admissible to the Attendant/Escort at the same rate and in the same class of accommodation, as the Government servant with Disabilities is entitled to under the Revised Travelling Allowance Rules, read with travel restrictions imposed under austerity measures/economy instructions, issued from time to time by the Government. However, in case of travel by any of the modes of conveyance by road, as prescribed under the Travelling Allowance rules, no separate mileage allowance would be admissible to the Government servant with Disabilities, in respect of the Attendant/Escort, except where the travel is by public bus.

(h) For commuting between residence to office and back, certain categories of Government servants with Disabilities are eligible for Transport Allowance at double the normal rates. As no Travelling Allowance is admissible to Government servants for training at headquarter station, consequently, no claim of Travelling Allowance to the Attendant/Escort of the Government servant with Disabilities would be admissible for training at headquarter station.

3. In so far as persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department are concerned, these orders issue in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

Sd/-
(Subhash Chand)
Director

PS:
To obtain a signed PDF copy (but inaccessible for those using screen readers) click below:

Ministry of Finance OM No. 19030/3/2013-E.IV dated 17 Feb 2015


Related news that appeared subsequently on 18 Mar 2015:


Travel allowance for escorts accompanying disabled government employees 

By PTI | 18 Mar, 2015, 03.12PM IST 

NEW DELHI: Coming to the aid of Central Government employees with disabilities, the Centre has decided to extend travel allowance for escorts accompanying them during official tours and training. 

A first-of-its kind initiative by the Union Government, the facility has been provided for the differently-abled employees on official overseas assignment as well. 

The move is expected to benefit around 6000 employees with different types of disabilities. 

"It has now been decided to allow travelling allowance in respect of attendant/escort for accompanying a government servant with disabilities during travel while on tour/training, etc., to be claimed by government servants with disabilities," an Office Memorandum by the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance said. 

Of the 6000 Government servants with disabilities, nearly 5,000 are physically impaired, over 800 fall under the category of hearing impaired, while about 500 were visually challenged. 

As per the office memorandum, Government servants with disabilities can claim travelling allowances for their escorts, if the field office or local administrative offices, where they would be visiting for tour or training within the country or Indian Missions abroad, for overseas visits, officially express their inability to provide an attendant of their own. 

Mileage allowance would be admissible to the escorts at the same rate and similar class of accommodation as government servants with disabilities are entitled for. 

The facility of travelling allowance for the escort would only be admissible to government servants with disabilities, wherein it is certified by the competent Medical Authority that such a person compulsorily requires assistance of another person for travel, the office memorandum stated. 

"State Governments are expected to follow the guidelines issued by the Union Government in this regard. This would be beneficial for Government servants with disabilities employed in State Governments also," Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Joint Secretary, Department of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said.

Source: Economic Times 

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