100 PGI doctors told to return allowance

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The hospital's counsel said that Bagchi's family members had not taken her home despite the issuance of a release order.
The hospital’s counsel said that Bagchi’s family members had not taken her home despite the issuance of a release order.

CHANDIGARH: For the first time, 100 professors, including the director and dean, in PGI have been served a show-cause notice to implement the orders of the Union ministry of health and family welfare.

All those with a pay grade of Rs 10,500 had been allowed transport allowance of Rs 7,000 per month in 2015 by the government. However, this was withdrawn within a year. Now, the notice has asked the professors to return the entire amount paid as transport allowance to the government. Back of the envelope calculations estimate that a total of Rs 84 lakh has to be returned.

“We got notices a week ago and the reply was sent today. The show-cause notice was first served at JIPMER, Puducherry, and as the same rules are applicable to us, we also got the notice,” confirmed Dr Rajesh Kumar, dean academics and officiating director.

The PGI Faculty Association has written to the director that they are not in a position to return the amount.

“We have asked why such a short notice has been served. And moreover, the allowance was approved as per our grades. We got our dues. How someone can be asked to return that amount after three years?” said Dr Rajesh Chabbra, president, PGI Faculty Association.

Sources said PGI and JIPMER have been served notices, but not AIIMS, which also is under the Act of Parliament and governed by the same rules as PGI and JIPMER. “If the AIIMS has not been asked, it is unjustified to serve notice on us,” said a faculty member.

A professor earns around Rs 2.1 lakh a month. There are monthly allowances, including learning resource allowance of Rs 60,000 per year, conveyance of Rs 3,300 plus dearness allowance per month. Bag allowance of Rs 8,500 once in three years. Those professors who are entitled a staff car in lieu of transport allowance have also been served the notice. This includes the director and the dean.

The transport allowance was approved in 2015 and soon dismissed by the health ministry in the same year. The ministry had clarified that the allowance shall be paid according to the nature of the job and not the play grade.

Previously, the faculty association had expressed their resentment on not getting 7th pay commission salaries as per their grades.

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