7th Pay Commission Recommendations Persons with Disabilities
9.6.1 As per the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, a “person with disability” means a person suffering from not less than 40 percent of any disability as certified by a medical authority. “Disability” as defined in Section 2(i) of the Act means– (i) blindness (ii) low vision (iii) leprosy cured (iv) hearing impairment (v) locomotor disability (vi) mental retardation (vii) mental illness.
9.6.2 As per the Census of India, 2011, there are nearly 26.8 million Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the country, which is nearly 2.21 percent of the total population.
PWDs in Central Government
9.6.3 The government provides three percent reservation in jobs for PWDs. Apart from this reservation at the entry stage, DoPT has issued instructions regarding identification of jobs, post-recruitment and pre-promotion training, providing aids/assistive devices, accessibility and barrier free environment at work place, preference in government accommodation, grievance redressal, and preference in transfer/posting for PWDs. In a recent notification, a provision has been made for ten years’ (fifteen years in case of SC/ST and thirteen years in case of OBC candidates) relaxation in the upper age limit for direct recruitment to civil posts/services under the Central Government.
9.6.4 Moreover, there are certain special entitlements as given below:
i. Special Allowance for Child Care for Women with Disabilities at the rate of ₹1,500 pm; ii. Transport Allowance at double the normal rate, subject to a minimum of ₹1,000 pm; iii. Constant Attendance Allowance for retired employees with 100 percent disablement at the rate of ₹4,500 per month; iv. Special Casual Leave for four days in a calendar year for specific requirements relating to disabilities; v. Special Casual Leave for ten days in a calendar year for participation in Conferences/ Seminars/Trainings/Workshops related to disability and development.
9.6.5 In case the disability is work related, the following additional provisions are available:
a. Special Disability Leave; b. Disability Pension; c. Educational Concession to children of Defence personnel who are disabled in action.
9.6.6 For employees with differently abled children, Children Education Allowance and Hostel Subsidy is granted at double rate.
9.6.7 Associations of employees with disabilities made the following demands before the Commission:
i. Suitable enhancement in the existing provisions ii. Provision of Common Room in offices with suitable recreational facilities iii. Additional rebate in House Building Advance and Automobile Advance iv. Establishment of Welfare Committees in the ministries
Analysis and Recommendations
9.6.8 The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, 2006, enunciates the measures that need to be taken by the government to ensure equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation in society for PWDs, in consonance with the principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution. India is also a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities. Thus, provision of appropriate measures for employees with disabilities is the responsibility of the Union Government.
9.6.9The Commission has made various recommendations regarding PWDs at different places in the report. They are consolidated here for ready reference:
i. In recognition of the singular responsibility faced by differently abled women in raising their children, the Special Allowance for Child Care for Women with Disabilities has been enhanced from the present rate of ₹1,500 pm to ₹3,000 pm
ii. Transport Allowance at double the normal rate has been retained, and the minimum amount has been increased from ₹1,000 pm to ₹2,250 pm
iii. Children Education Allowance and Hostel Subsidy have been kept at double rate for differently abled children
iv. Constant Attendance Allowance has been enhanced from ₹4,500 pm to ₹6,750 pm
v. Special Disability Leave has been subsumed in Work Related Illness and Injury Leave (WRIIL), with improved provisions
vi. Educational Concession, hitherto available only to the children of Defence personnel killed/missing/disabled in action, has been extended to similarly placed personnel of CAPFs, Indian Coast Guard, RPF and police forces of Union Territories mutatis mutandis
9.6.10 Besides the above recommendations, there are a few suggestions that can go a long way in improving the working environment for these employees:
i. In our interactions, it has been highlighted that easy access, particularly to toilets, remains an issue of concern. Hence, it is suggested that Guidelines and Space Standard for Barrier Free Built Environment for Disabled and Elderly Persons, issued by CPWD, Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment, should invariably be followed while designing new government premises. Their application in the existing offices may also be explored.
ii. Every ministry should have a Welfare Committee, with due representation of differently abled employees, to address their concerns.
iii. The grievance redressal machinery should be strengthened and made more effective.
The decision of competent authority in the Ministry of Railways to extend the facility of joining RELHS-97 to those Railway employees who retired at the normal age of superannuation irrespective of number of years of their service before superannuation, was conveyed to the zonal Railways vide Board’s letter cited under reference. However, one of the Zonal Railways has raised the issue of cut-off date of implementation of the order. The issue has been examined in consultation with Finance Directorate in the Board’s office.
In this context it is clarified that the instruction issued vide Board’s letter cited under reference is applicable to all Railway employees who have retired or retiring from Railway service on attaining age of superannuation without any cut-off date.
This issues with the concurrence of Finance Directorate in the Board’s Office.
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS RAILWAY BOARD
No.E(P&A)II-2015/HW-1 New Delhi, dated 23-11-2015
The General Managers/CAOs All Indian Railways & Prod. Units etc.
Subject: Rates of Night Duty Allowance w.e.f. 01.07.2015
Consequent to sanction of an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance vide this Ministry’s letter No.PC-VI/2008/I/72/1 dated 24.09.2015, the President is pleased to decide that the rates of Night Duty Allowance as notified vide Annexures “A” and “B” of Board’s letter No.E(P&A)II-2015/HW-1 dated 08.06.2015 stand revised with effect from 01.07.2015 as indicated at Annexure “A” in respect of “continuous”, “Intensive”, ‘Excluded’ categories and workshop employees, and as indicated at Annexure ‘B’ in respect of ‘Essentially Intermittent’ categories.
2. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.
(Sd/-) (Salim Md. Ahmed) Dy.Director/E(P&A) II Railway Board.