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Big bonanza for Indian Railways staff! Running allowances of these employees doubled; arrears to be paid

Nikita Prasad

Indian Railways takes a step forward to provide better wages! Accepting the long pending demand of employees unions, Indian Railways has decided to more than double the running allowance of railway guards, loco pilots and assistant loco pilots, according to a PTI report. Presently, loco drivers, assistant loco drivers and the railway guards, who help in movement of the trains and are called the ‘running staff’, receive a running allowance of around Rs 255 per 100 km, which is now being revised to about Rs 520.

This move will however increase Indian Railways’ annual financial burden of allowances by Rs 1,225 crore and increase its operating ratio by 2.5 per cent, according to a Railway Ministry source who was quoted in the report. In the month of November last year, the national transporter had a very high operating ratio of 117.05 per cent. This means that it spent Rs 117.05 to generate every Rs 100, which is an indicator of its financial health.

Sources quoted in the report said that this will increase the annual financial burden of allowances for Indian Railways from the present around Rs 1,150 crore to about Rs 2,375 crore and will also increase the operating ratio by 2.5 per cent. The revised rates of the allowances will be sent to the Finance Ministry for final approval. The running staff were posing demands for increasing the allowances for the past four years. While the allowances for the other employees had been increased on July 1, 2017, the hike for running employees was pending. Hence, this decision for the increase in allowances has been taken by the Railway Ministry.

According to the report, the Railway Ministry will also pay arrears of around Rs 4,500 crore for the period from July 1, 2017 to December 2018.

Presently, Indian Railways pays 178 kinds of allowances to its staff, which includes, mileage allowance, night duty allowance, training allowance, conveyance allowance to doctors, transport allowance, compensation in lieu of holidays, uniform allowance and bad climate allowance