Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Railway Board order No.ERB-1/2016/23/21 dated 05.05.2016 by which an empowered committee was unilaterally constituted, consisting of Executive Directors of Railway Board under the guise “for Running Allowance in the 7th CPC pay structure”, with three terms of reference. It is apparent on the face of these terms of references that they are only intended to totally disturb the well settled Pay fitment factor, the quantum of Pay element of 30% / 55% and the formula for calculation of rates of running allowances, which are in vogue and holding the field for the past 4 decades since the time of implementation of 1980 Running Allowances Committee Report. 

It is our bitter experience that whenever the Board intended to curtail the existing benefit of staff, they resort to appoint an “in house” committee and finally take refuge under those recommendations which curtails the benefits. 

It is our conviction, not mere apprehension, that the wishes of the Railway Board are translated into recommendations through such ‘in house committees’. The recommendations are drawn well before constituting the committee. The unholy nexus between the Railway Board and such Committees are well known. This authoritarian onslaught of the Railway Board can be seen since several years. The earlier Running Allowance committees are classic examples, through which such hidden agenda were implemented duly eroding the existing benefits. 

The percentage of pay element in running allowance and for retirement benefits is well determined. There is a well defined scientific formula to calculate the rate of the Running allowance, as laid down by RAC 1980, which stood the ground all along. The Central Pay Commissions also endorsed the same. To fix the pay in the new Pay Matrix recommended by the 7th CPC, there are well defined procedures that were followed after 4th, 5th and 6th Central Pay Commissions. Therefore there is no need for a review of these three factors. No material change took place on account of 7th CPC recommendation, warranting a review in relation to the percentage of Pay element, the formula to calculate running allowance rate and the factor to fix the pay in the new Pay Matrix. 

The ill motivated move of the Railway Board to curtail the existing benefits by reviewing these factors will demoralize, cause frustration and ultimately result in serious unrest among the running staff. AILRSA and the recognized federations also have expressed their objection in this regard. 


Till recent years Running Allowance was glamour of Running Staff. But today the condition is different. When DA raised to 51% w.e.f 01.01.2011, many of the allowances automatically raised by 25% as per accepted recommendation of 6th CPC and this includes Travelling Allowance also. 

Though the running allowance scheme continues from Company Railways regime, prior to 1980 revising Running Allowance was done after every pay commission without any scientific analysis or application of mind . After 1970, due to various struggles by the Loco Running Staff, the Railways and the Government of India had accepted the genuineness of the demand of scientific analysis and formed Running Allowance Committee 1980. 

RAC1980 identified two elements in running allowance, ie. Pay element and TA element and somehow quantified them through some guess work. RAC 1980 derived a methodology (formula) to calculate rate of Running Allowance. Accordingly revision of running allowance was done for the past two decades based on the RAC1980 formula. Despite our differences, disputes over various factors we principally accept the RAC1980 methodology. 

After 6th CPC, Railways constituted a committee under the Chairmanship of Adv(IR) along with five Railway Board Officials and two General Secretaries of NFIR and AIRF. It has submitted its recommendation on 25.11.2008. The committee vide Para14, assumed that the TA / DA rate at Rs. 210/-, and took the minimum of pay band (PB2) and calculated rate of running allowance as Rs 160/- per 100 kms but subsequently TA / DA has been released fixing Rs. 340/- for the grade pay of Rs. 4200/-. So instead of Rs. 210 an amount of Rs. 340 should have been taken as TA for fixing the running allowance rate. In the case of Assistant Loco Pilots the increase in TA rates is from Rs. 55 to Rs.210 i.e, 3.81 times. Therefore the recommendation of the committee on Running Allowance to double the rate w.e.f 01.09.2008 is unjust, unacceptable and clear discrimination. 

Accordingly it will be just on our part to demand that the kilometerage rate of running staff be raised as follows:- 

Application of RAC-1980 formula with 20 days TA and 4700 / 3725 km for LP / ALP, the rate from 01.01.2006 to 31.08.2008, w.e.f 01.09.2008,and w.e.f 01.01.2011

Basic Pay
(9300 + 34800) / 2 + 4200
* ( 5830 +20200) / 2 + 1900
Mean Pay
30% of Pay element
Old TA rates
National average km
Mileage rate with old TA rate w.e.f 01.01.2006
(7875 +(105 X 20)) /4700 ) 100 = 212.23
(4475 + (55 X 20)) / 3725 ) 100 =   149.66
New TA rates
Mileage rate with new TA   w.e.f 01.09.2008
(7875 +(340 X 20) / 4700 ) X 100 =312.23
(4475 + (210 X 20) / 3725 )X 100=     232.89
New TA rate after DA 51%
Mileage rate with new TA        w.e.f 01.01.2011
(7875+(425 X 20))/ 4700 X 100 = 348
(4475 + (262.5 X 20)) / 3725) X 100= 261
*entry pay for ALPs

The loss can be under stood easily when we are on RC/promotional course at training centers after 01.01.2011

ALK per day for running staff
Rs 270/-(TA portion is Rs.7.50 only)
TA for non running staff
Rs 425/-

Following the footsteps of RAC1980, this joint committee also vide Para.13 submits “as Kilometerage allowance contains a Pay element, revision in the rates of this allowance requires to be carried out w.e.f 01.01.2006 and thereafter w.e.f 01.09.2008 when the revised rates of TA/DA are implemented”. And thus they derived separate Kilometerage allowance w.e.f 01.01.2006 and 01.09.2008. But it concluded with doubling the rate of running allowance w.e.f 01.09.2008 only. Thus we are going back to pre 1980 position i.e revising Running Allowance without any scientific analysis. 

Revision of running allowance rates on increase of Basic pay or TA is mandatory in accordance with running allowance rules 1981. 

When DA is raised to 100 % again as per 6th CPC running allowance was increased by 25 %. But the income tax ceiling amount of Rs. 10000/- which fixed while implementing 6th CPC was not enhanced and running staff ended up pay excess Income tax where as other staff getting TA where exempted under the purview of Income tax by ministry of finance. The Railway board even today keeps mum on Income tax issue and not insisting the finance ministry to enhance the slab from 10000 to 20000. 

The negotiating channel of federations has so far not yielded any fruitful results in the improvement of pay and running allowances. The loco Running staff largely desire for united struggle to restore the RAC 1980 formula for running allowance to ensure proper and just rate and periodic revision. AILRSA gives clarion call for a united struggle at least on issue basis to fulfill the workers wishes. 

The empowered committee is an afterthought of Railway board while contesting against NIT. When a competent Judicial Committee is considering the issue of pay element and mileage rates, the immature act of railway management to form an Empowered Committee is subjudice and AILRSA has ignored that committee by not submitting a memorandum to it, and it is interesting to note that as usual only AIRF/NFIR are co-operating wholeheartedly with it. AILRSA had raised these objections to the NIT, and NIT had written a letter to railway board to do away with the Empowered committee. Even then they are going ahead with it, AILRSA will watch the outcome of NIT, to decide future course of action. 

All the efforts, struggle and consequent achievements by categorical unions big or small are unashamedly touted as achievements of AIRF/NFIR by their national and local leaders. It is to be noted in this context that AIRF vehemently opposed the NIT and demanded railway board to file a case against the formation of NIT. They are pretty sure that the positive outcome of NIT will be achieved by AILRSA alone, without their involvement and in future they cannot propagate tall claims of achievements and confuse the workers. AILRSA/S.Rly. had won MACP case in Hon CAT / Ernakulum and railway went on appeal to Hon. High Court of Kerala and brought an amendment in the MACP rule (RBE 142/2012) hijacking the MACP of Loco Running Staff as a whole but our beloved AIRF/NFIR is keeping mum on the issue. 

UNITE TO FIGHT OUT INJUSTICE                                                         AILRSA ZINDABAD


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