Underprivileged’ employees of federal govt to get disparity allowance


Federal government employees from BPS 1 to 19 grades will now get a disparity allowance from March 1, except those who are already getting extra allowances.

In this regard, the government on Wednesday notified 15 per cent Disparity Reduction Allowance (DRA) on the running basic pay to the “underprivileged employees” up to grade 19.

The government announced the DRA earlier this month a day ahead of a sit-in call given by the employees in protest against the government’s failure to provide them with a special allowance promised to them. The federal government had also called upon the provincial governments to provide similar relief to their employees out of their own funds.

In a notification, the finance ministry said the allowance would apply to all civil employees of the federal government, including employees of the federal secretariat, attached departments and subordinate offices who have never been allowed additional allowance or allowances equal to or more than 100pc of the basic pay or performance allowance.

Ogra indicates increase in petroleum prices from March 1 owing to rupee depreciation, rising global oil rates

The allowance will not be admissible to the employees of the organisations who are drawing additional allowance or allowances equal to or more than 100pc of the basic pay (whether frozen or otherwise). Also, the DRA will be frozen at the level drawn on March 1 and will be subject to income tax.

The DRA will also be admissible during leave and entire period of last received pay except during an extraordinary leave but will not be treated as part of emoluments for calculating pension and gratuity and the recovery of house rent.

It will also not be admissible to the employees during the tenure of their postings or deputations abroad but on returning home they would be entitled to the allowance at the rate and amount which would have been admissible to them, had they not been posted abroad. The allowance will be admissible during the period of suspension. The term “basic pay” will also include the amount of personal pay granted on account of annual increments beyond the maximum of the existing pay scales.

Oil prices rise

In a separate development, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Wednesday indicated an increase in the prices of petroleum products on March 1 owing to currency depreciation and unprecedented hike in global oil prices.

Testifying before the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Energy (Petroleum Division), Ogra Chairman Masroor Khan said the situation was apparent as there was no precedent of increase in international oil prices that had occurred in the previous 12 weeks. The meeting was presided over by chaired by MNA Imran Khattak.

Mr Khan said the rupee had also depreciated sharply against the dollar. He said the government was receiving petroleum levy of Rs14 per litre while GST was zero. The money coming into the treasury was being compromised, he said. He was responding to a question from chairman of the panel as to how the Russian-Ukraine situation was going to impact the petroleum prices in Pakistan.

“From the current situation, you can guess the answer,” he said, adding that as the international prices went up, the burden would fall on the people.

Briefing the committee on Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline, Petroleum Secretary Ali Raza Bhutta informed the committee that talks with Russia on the pipeline had been completed. He said that Russia would also invest and lay the pipeline and groundwork would begin soon.

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