In good news for about two lakh central government employees, the Union cabinet on Thurday approved doubling of existing rates of hospital patient care allowance.
Besides, it has decided to revise the existing rate of risk allowance given to central government employees engaged in hazardous duties across the country.
"The cabinet today approved revision of rates of Risk Allowance. Hospital Patient Care Allowance and Patient Care Allowance payable to about two lakh entitled central government employees are to double from existing rates with effect from September 1, 2008," an official statement said.
The decision will result in considerable financial savings as compared to the Risk Insurance Schemes or Packages, the statement said.
The financial implication of doubling the rate of Risk Allowance, Hospital Patient Care Allowance and Patient Care Allowance would be Rs. 42.16 crore per annum, as against Rs. 503.26 crore plus service tax (approximately) for implementing the risk insurance package.
"The amount of Risk Allowance, Hospital Patient Care Allowance and Patient Care Allowance would be automatically raised by 25% every time the Dearness Allowance on the revised pay structure goes up by 50%," it said.
The proposed revision in the rates of Risk Allowance, Hospital Patient Care Allowance and Patient Care Allowance will benefit certain categories of central government employees engaged in duties involving special risks.
Risk allowance, which varies from Rs. 20 to Rs. 200, are given to employees engaged in duties involving greater hazards or whose health is liable to be affected progressively over a long period of time.
The allowance is given to all class of employees, including sweepers engaged in cleaning of underground drains, sewer lines and those working in trenching grounds and infectious diseases hospitals.
Hospital Patient Care and Patient Care Allowance is given to select employees from Group C (Clerical) and D (lower grade including peons).