Fanfare Announcement of the Finance Ministry about Festival Advance and LTC Relief Not Acceptable to Central Government Employees

The fanfare announcement made by the Finance Minister on 12/10/2020 is nothing but like another announcement she made during May 2020 that of Rs.20 Lakh Crore COVID-19 Relief package, so as to infuse spending and in the same announcement she declared Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories against which the Defence Employees are on a Nation wide struggle. The Central Government had already impounded the three instalments of Dearness Allowance which is a compensation for price raise for the Central Govt. Employees and the Pensioners, through which the Govt. has saved nearly Rs.40,000 Crores. The more than 60% of the Central Govt. Employees are under New Pension Scheme and there is no liability now for the Government for the social security of Central Govt. Employees. This has been said in a statement issued by S.N. Pathak and C. Srikumar, President and General Secretary respectively, of the All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF).

The 7th Pay Commission has abolished many recoverable advances available for the Central Government Employees including Festival advance. The demand of the Central Govt. Employees to restore the Festival advance equal to one month Basic pay has not been considered by the Central Govt. so far. In this situation the Finance Minister yesterday made an announcement that the Central Govt. Employees will be paid Rs.10,000/- as a Festival Advance and recoverable in 10 instalments, and it will be paid as a preloaded Rupay Card from SBI and the same is available only up to 31/03/2021.

Similarly in the name of LTC Special Cash package, one has to spend Rs.2,94,015 and reimburse Rs.1,34,015 in lieu of LTC. Moreover one has to purchase items/availing services which carry minimum 12% GST and the purchase has to be made from Registered Vendor through Digital Mode and obtain the Voucher indicating the GST No. and amount of GST paid. TDS will be recovered from the LTC Earned leave Encashment. Therefore it is amply clear that this amount will benefit the business houses boosting their sales and Government will collect GST & IT from the Central Government Employees.

The Government instead of releasing the DA Instalments due to the Govt. Employees/Pensioners and settling the various 7th Central Pay Commission related issues and demands, withdrawal of NPS, revision of the Bonus Payment ceiling, Revision of Central Govt. Employees Group Insurance Scheme, Sanction of Compassionate Appointment to the dependents of the deceased employees without any ceiling, sanction of Quarantine Leave/special Casual Leave for the employees tested COVID-19 Positive etc. and Special Casual Leave due to non-availability of Transport etc., during COVID-19 pandemic Lockdown period, is making fanfare announcements, which is not at all going to be giving any relief to the Central Government Employees, especially when they are in a very difficult economic crisis. The All India Defence Employees Federation urges upon the Government instead of making fanfare announcements and showing lollipops should sanction one month Basic Pay as Festival Advance, LTC cash packages should be without any conditions and settle all the pending demands of the Central Government Employees.

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