Clarification on Combined Duty Allowance (Order No. 19-13/2022-GDS)

The Government of India’s Ministry of Communications, Department of Posts has issued a clarification regarding the payment of Combined Duty Allowance (CDA) to Gramin Dak Sevak (GDS) employees. The matter came under judicial scrutiny before the Hon’ble CAT, Earnakulam Bench, in connection with OA No. 391/2021 and connected cases. The CAT’s order dated 07.06.2023 directed the recovery of excess payment of CDA from GDS employees who were not eligible for it.

Combined Duty Allowance (CDA) to Gramin Dak Sevak

No. 19-13/2022-GDS
Government of India
Ministry of Communications
Department of Posts
(GDS Section)

Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi-110 001
Dated: 31.07.2023

Subject: Combined Duty Allowance (CDA) to Gramin Dak Sevak (GDS) -clarification.

Recently the issue of recovery of excess payment of Combined Duty Allowance (CDA) payable to GDS came to the judicial scrutiny before the Hon’ble CAT, Earnakulam Bench. The Bench while deciding OA No. 391/2021 and connected cases vide order dated 07.06.2023 (Annexure A) has, inter-alia, directed to recover over payment of combined duty allowance from the GDS (both in the single handed and all other BOs), inter-alia, observing that

“Combined duty allowance can be claimed by a GDS only if he is discharging the additional duties subject to the two riders: –

(a) There must be two or more posts in the establishment.

(b) The duty of that post should be borne on the post of that BO and duty of that post is to be combined with another post of that particular office.”

  1. While examining the aforementioned court cases, it was noted that this office Order No. 17-31/2016-GDS dated 01.02.2022,in respect of CDA applicable in single handed BOs, was issued with the concurrence of MoF keeping in view the specific nature of duties to be performed by BPM in single handed BOs and therefore, BPMs in such cases are entitled to combined duty allowance. Kerala Circle has, accordingly, been advised to take further legal recourse to clarify the position before Hon’ble Tribunal.
  2. Further, it was also noticed while examining the above cases in respect of the double or more than double handed branch post offices, that Karnataka Circle and Telangana Circle (Hyderabad Region) have issued some clarifications at Circle levels vide their orders No. ESA/1-1/Dlgs/Ill dated 12.05.2022 (Annexure B) and PMG (H)/Est-/05 dated 18.09.2018 (Annexure C), respectively in the matter of grant of combined duty allowance (CDA). It appears from the clarification issued by both the Circles that the CDA has been allowed to the GDSs in the BOs having two or more hands in all cases, irrespective of the vacant post is borne in the same establishment or otherwise, against the provisions contained in this office OM NO. 17-31/2016-GDS dated 25.06.2018.
  3. The said orders dated 25.06.2018 are very clear with regard to grant of combined duty allowance, which inter-alia, provides that for grant of combined duty allowance (in other than single handed BOs) it is necessary that two or more posts should be borne on the same establishment, i.e., in case of BPMs working in other than single handed BOs, the Combined Duty Allowance should be granted only in the cases where the post of GDS ABPM was lying vacant or where the incumbent to the post has availed any leave and consequently BPM works as the Mail Deliverer or Mail Conveyance or both in addition to their own duties.
  4. In view of the observations of the Hon’ble CAT the Orders, the aforesaid letters dated 12.05.2022 of Karnataka Circle and 18.09.2018 and of the PMG, Hyderabad Region are needed to be withdrawn immediately. Karnataka Circle and Telangana Circle are accordingly requested to take action to withdraw the aforementioned orders of respective Circles and recover the excess payment of combined duty allowance made in pursuance thereof from the GDSs concerned in three installments. A compliance may be submitted by both the Circles forthwith.
  5. All Other Circles are also requested to follow the instructions in the letter and spirit to avoid such irregular payment and take action to recover such irregular payment of CDA, if any.

The receipt of this letter may be acknowledge by all Circles.

(Ravi Pahwa)
Assistant Director General (GDS/PCC)
Tel. No. 011-23096629
Email:-adggds426[at]gmail.com

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