The Haryana government has ordered that basic pay plus grade pay and non-practising allowance (NPA), all combined together, for doctors will not exceed Rs 79,000 per month. The order will apply to medicos working in the health department, animal husbandry and Ayush departments. However, it will not be applicable to doctors working at Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak. The development has triggered protests from government doctors who are griping over the pay cut.
Several government doctors in higher ranks were reportedly drawing basic pay plus grade pay and NPA to the tune of more than Rs 80,000, higher than what the chief secretary of the state would get. The anomaly, however, now stands rectified.
Tracing the genesis of the issue, a recent finance department order said the central government while accepting the recommendations of the sixth central pay commission in 2008 had decided that the NPA may continue to be paid at the rate of 25% of the basic pay subject to the condition that the basic pay plus NPA does not exceed Rs 85,000. The reason for fixing the ceiling of Rs 85,000 in the central government was that the highest paid official in the central government was the cabinet secretary, who gets Rs 90,000 per month (fixed).
The Haryana government adopted the central pattern but with an anomaly. "The pay revision committee of the state government recommended payment of 20% NPA on basic pay in the revised pay structure to Haryana Civil Medical Services (HCMS) doctors and 15% NPA on the basic pay to Haryana Dental Medical Services, Ayush doctors and veterinary surgeons subject to the condition that the basic pay plus NPA will not exceed Rs 85,000. Accordingly, the state government fixed the ceiling (basic pay + NPA) of government doctors at Rs 85,000. However, in Haryana the highest paid official - the chief secretary gets Rs 80,000 per month (fixed). As such, the ceiling of Rs 85,000 per month for doctors, which is beyond the maximum pay of Rs 80,000 per month in Haryana, is not justified," the FD order said.
The finance department thus ordered that after careful consideration, the state government has decided to grant NPA at a uniform rate of 25% of pay (pay in pay band plus grade pay) in the revised pay structure to all doctors working in the health, animal husbandry and Ayush departments subject to the condition that the basic pay plus grade pay and NPA does not exceed Rs 79,000 per month.
A separate FD order read that as per Rule 2.52 of the Punjab Civil Services Rules, 1969, the NPA is a part of the special pay and no government employee is entitled to dearness allowance or any other compensatory allowance on special pay, personal pay etc since the general revision of pay scales from January 1986. "Furthermore, the NPA itself is an allowance. Therefore, any entitlement of dearness allowance or any other compensatory allowance on NPA does not seem to be justifiable," the order said. Also, NPA will not be treated as part of pay within the meaning of Rule 6.19-C of Punjab Civil Services Rules and will not be counted for pensionary benefits in respect of doctors of various departments.
Rule 2.52 of Punjab Civil Services Rules say that special pay means an addition of the nature of pay to the emoluments of a post or of a government employee granted in consideration of specially arduous nature of the duties or the specific addition to the work or responsibility and includes non-practising allowance (NPA) granted to doctors in lieu of private practice