''One fails to understand on what basis a Central Government employee who is based in Kolkata, for instance, will get 30 per cent of basic pay as HRA but the same will come down to 15 per cent on being transferred to Siliguri and further to 7.5 per cent if sent to Murshidabad,'' said the organisation.
Agitated over the hardship because of this ''anomalous situation'', the organisation -- Programme Staff Welfare Asociation of All India Radio and Doordarshan -- has sent a memorandum to the Member Secretary, Sixth Central Pay Commission, urging it to rectify the situation by including it its final recommendations.
Association President Pramod Mehta said AIR and Doordarshan Transmission Executives, Programme Executives and other Central government employees working in more than 200 stations of AIR and 50 centres of DD had been discharging their duties in difficult conditions -- be it the quake-ravaged Bhuj, the tsunami-devastated Port Blair or the militancy-plagued Srinagar.
''But we have observed an ominous trend of late. A number of AIR and DD stations are functioning with skeletal programme and other staff as they are reluctant to move out of metro cities apprehending a steep fall in their total emolument, ranging between Rs 3000 and Rs 5000, owing to a massive difference in the HRA one gets in Metro and other towns and cities,'' Mr Mehta pointed out.
He said this sorry state of affairs existed in many other Central government offices across the country, affecting entire officialdom, including IAS and other Central Services.
Elaborating, he said a Central government employee based in Mumbai would be unwilling to accept a transfer to Pune or from Delhi to Rohtak, Mathura or Kurukshetra or from Chennai to Madurai, Tirunveli and Trichy, because of the huge difference it the HRA.
''Such a situation is anomalous and breeds inferiority complex among the affected employees,'' said the memorandum, copies of which were also sent to Prime Minister Mammohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, I&B Minister P R Dasmunsi and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
Mr Mehta suggested that the HRA, in all the cities and towns -- irrespective of its so-called categorisation, should be uniform, except in difficult or disturbed areas. He also pointed out that in West Bengal, there is the provision of 15 per cent HRA for all state government employees irrespective of their place of posting within the state.
Alternatively, he said there should be provisions of special incentive for Central Government employees opting for transfers of out of metros and big cities. ''This will motivate the employees to willingly accept transfers to any part of the country.'' UNI/SKS VD VC1750