The railways has decided to more than double the running allowance of its guards, loco pilots and assistant loco pilots, thereby accepting a long-pending demand of employees’ unions.
The move will increase its annual financial burden of allowances by Rs. 1,225 crore and enhance operating ratio by 2.5 per cent, a source said Thursday.
In November 2018, the national transporter had a record-high operating ratio of 117.05 per cent — which means it spent Rs. 117.05 to generate every Rs. 100 — which is an indicator of its financial health.
At present, loco drivers, assistant loco drivers and guards, who help in movement of a train and called the ”running staff”, get paid a running allowance of around Rs. 255 per 100 km, which is now being revised to about Rs. 520.
This will increase the annual financial burden of allowances from the present around Rs.1,150 crore to about Rs. 2,375 crore, the source said.
The revised rates will now be sent to the Finance Ministry for approval.
“The running staff had been demanding the increase for the past four years. While the allowances for other employees had been increased on July 1, 2017, their hike was pending. This is a new year gift from the railways to its staff. However, this will be a huge burden on railways as it will increase the operating ratio by around 2.5 per cent,” said the source.
The railways will also pay arrears of around Rs. 4,500 crore for the period from July 1, 2017 to December 2018.
Currently, railways pays 178 kinds of allowances to its staff, including mileage allowance, night duty allowance, training allowance, transport allowance, conveyance allowance to doctors, uniform allowance, compensation in lieu of holidays and bad climate allowance