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WELFARE

1.0 Introduction

As a part of liberalization of the policies and procedures relating to grant of rewards to the Government servants, three funds, namely (i) Customs & Central Excise Welfare Fund, (ii) Performance Award Fund, and (iii) Special Equipment Fund, were created in the year 1985 for the purpose of financing various welfare schemes for promotion of welfare of staff and their families and for acquisition of anti-smuggling equipments of a specialized nature within the shortest possible time. The three Funds were financed by transfer of 10% of the sale proceeds of confiscated goods credited to the Government and Customs/Excise Duties, fines, penalties in offence cases realized and sustained in appeal/revision etc. during the year 1985-86 onwards as verified and confirmed by the Chief Controller of Accounts, CBEC and Financial Adviser to the Ministry of Finance. The distribution of the credits of 10% amongst three funds was as under:

(i)Welfare Fund: 1%

(ii)Performance Award Fund: 4%

(iii)Customs Special Equipment Fund: 5%

Customs and Central Excise Welfare Fund and customs and Central Excise Performance Award Fund Ministry have been merged into a single entity, called Customs and Central Excise Welfare fund vide Ministrys order dated 12.10.2006, to be used for general welfare of staff and officers of the department. The funds have been allocated in the ratio 1:1 in the two funds. Accordingly, with effect from 12.10.2006, there are two funds namely (i) Customs and Central Excise Welfare Fund and (ii) Customs & Central Excise Special Equipment Fund.

1.1Distribution of the credits amongst two funds

The total amount equal to 10% of the sale proceeds of confiscated goods, credited to the Government and Customs/ Excise Duties, fines, penalties in offence cases realized and sustained in appeal/revision etc., is transferred every year to the two funds as under:

(i)Customs and Central Excise Welfare Fund: 5%

(ii)Customs & Central Excise Special Equipment Fund: 5%

1.2Nature of Funds

The two funds form a part of Public Account in the same manner as General Provident Fund or Central Govt. Employees Group Insurance Scheme and thus are cumulative in character and the interest on the amount is to be annually transferred and credited to the respective fund accounts.

1.3Administration of Funds

Funds are centrally administered by constitution of a Governing Body comprising of the following members:

(i)Chairman, CBECConvener

(ii)All Members of the CBECMembers

(iii)Financial AdviserMember

(iv)Additional Director General (I&W, HRD) Member-Secretary

1.4 Purposes of the Fund:- The underlying purpose of these funds is to cover the following liabilities/schemes :-

a) Promotion of staff Welfare, recreation and other outdoor activities including a sense of adventure. The staff welfare activities shall include setting up of recreation clubs, libraries, and scholarships for children of employees, opening of crches, providing vocational training to wives of employees, arrangements of subsidized transport facility for the staff, providing more amenities in the departmental canteens etc.

b) To provide for contingencies like death resulting from accident or from injury suffered or from a natural cause during and while the officer is actually engaged in an operation of anti-smuggling, anti-evasion or narcotic enforcement; injury suffered in the course of anti-smuggling, anti-evasion, or narcotic enforcement activities; death from any cause whatsoever while the officer is posted to a formation involving anti-smuggling, anti-evasion or foreign exchange or narcotic enforcement work as the case may be. The assistance may be provided even if the employee has ceased to be so posted but if the death could reasonably be attributed to his having worked in any such formation; and any permanent disability or loss of limb or eye etc. arising as a result of accident or injury suffered which can be reasonably attributed to any of the circumstances described earlier.

c) Providing different forms of medical assistance for emergencies and serious distress to staff and members of their families, not normally, governed under the medical reimbursement rules and to provide for high risk insurance cover to operational staff.

d) Construction/hiring/leasing of holiday homes in places of tourist/pilgrimage interest and departmental guest house in Metropolitan cities for the use of departmental staff.

e) Advancement of supplemental loans to officers/staff of the department for construction/hiring/leasing of residential complexes which could be leased for the use of departmental staff so long as they are in service.

f) Grant of performance incentives to the best managed Unit/Circle/Division for creation of a sense of competition and better performance amongst the staff.

g) Procurement of anti-smuggling equipments of a specialized nature within the shortest possible time.

h) Any other scheme or measures intended for the promotions of staff Welfare and improving performance of the officers.

i) Any other purpose for the Welfare of community at large including removal of difficulties caused by natural calamities like floods, earthquake, drought etc.

1.5Coverage of Funds

The utility of two funds extends to all officers and staff working in the Central Board of Excise & Customs, its attached and subordinate offices and includes officers/staff of the CBEC working on deputation in various Ministries/Departments of the Government.

Governing Body, in its meeting dated 20.12.2006 has decided to extend the benefits for reimbursement of medical expenses from Customs & Central Excise Welfare Fund to the following officers engaged in revenue collection and/or enforcement of laws in relation to Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax and Narcotics:

(a) Officials in IFU who deal with CBEC matters.

(b) Officials of Pr. CCA, CBEC, New Delhi & PAOs attached to subordinate offices of CBEC during the tenure of their posting in these offices.

(c) Cadre officers of CBEC who are entitled to the benefits of welfare Fund continue to receive the facility of financial assistance for medical treatment after their retirement in case they are re-employed with any body/organization under Department of Revenue which deals with revenue collection or enforcements of Laws in relation with Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax, and Narcotics. The organization include CESTAT, Settlement Commission, and Authority of Advance Ruling. The benefit will be given for the period of such re-employment.

1.6 Sponsoring of proposals for various schemes

Specific proposals in respect of the various Schemes formulated in accordance of the Welfare Rules are required to be sponsored by respective Commissioner of Customs of Central Excise/ officers of equivalent rant in the department, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee constituted at the Heads of Departmental level. For this purpose, an Advisory Committee comprising the Commissioner/ officers of equivalent rank in the department and one representative each of Group A to D be nominated in each Commissionerate/ Directorate. The decisions arrived at by the Advisory Committee on each proposal should be forwarded to the Governing Body with full details/ justifications for further consideration and sanction.

1.7 Responsibility for Maintenance of Accounts

The accounts of the Funds are to be maintained by a special Unit created for the purpose in each Commissionerate from within its existing staff strength. The Unit shall be manned by necessary Secretarial Staff under the supervision of the Chief Accounts officer.

1.8 Documents

The following records shall be maintained to keep a proper account of the funds:

(a) Separate general files for each Fund in which all sanctions and vouchers will be kept;

(b) Separate stock registers/ disbursement registers for the Funds keeping record of articles purchased etc. Detailed instructions regarding opening and maintenance and accounting of the Personal Deposit Account and Accounting procedure relating thereto for the funds have been sent to all Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise vide Ministrys letter F.No. 712/21/88-Cus (AS) dated 22-04-1988.

1.9 Audit of Funds

The documents relating to Personal Deposit account mentioned by the Personal Deposit Account holder shall be subject to the Internal Audit of the Pr. Chief Controller of Accounts, C.B.E.C. at the Headquarters level, and by the Pay and Account Officer of the respective Commissionerate/ Directorate level.

The accounts will also be subjected to statutory audit once in year by the C. & A.G.

2.0Activities undertaken from the Welfare Fund

Presently, the various activities undertaken from the welfare Fund include the following:

(i) Grant of financial assistance for non-reimbursable expenses under CS (MA)/ CGHS Rules;

(ii) Grant of ex-gratia financial assistance in cases of death of departmental officials;

(iii) Advance on medical grounds in exceptional cases in emergencies;

(iv) Arrangements for medical treatment in hospitals recognized under CS (MA)/ CGHS Rules without payment of any advance deposit by the departmental officials;

(v) Grant of cash awards to the children of departmental officials for performance in Board Examinations at the level of 10th and 12th Standard;

(vi) Grant of scholarships for pursuing specified professional courses at graduate level;

(vii) Setting up of common facilities, viz. departmental guest hoses, acquiring accommodation in hotels, Canteens, Creches, Gym./ Recreation/ Sports Centers;

(viii) Grant of financial assistance for the losses suffered due to natural calamities like Tsunami, Earthquakes, Floods etc.;

(ix) Cash Awards for winning medals in games/events of National/International importance and financial assistance for meeting expenditure on participation in National/International games/events, etc.

(x) Financial assistance for recreation and other outdoor activities including a sense of adventure.

3.0Schemes/ Guidelines for various activities undertaken from the Welfare Fund

3.1CONSOLIDATED GUIDELINCES FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES

(i)Admissible financial assistance

Financial assistance shall be admissible for portion of expenses on treatment which are non reimbursable under the CS (MA)/CGHS Rules

(ii)Time limit for submission of proposal

(a)The individual has to request within 3 months of settlement of claims when part of the claim is settled under CS(MA)/CGHS rules. The Commissioners/HODs should forward the proposal within a period of one month of receipt of the request

The time limit for requesting for financial assistance by the individual and for forwarding the proposal by the Commissioner should be strictly observed.

(b) Proposal submitted after the prescribed time limit

Reasons for delay in submission of proposal by the applicant/ Commissionerate should be given.

(iii)For Continuous Treatment

In cases of continuous treatment only one time financial assistance should be considered and normally no subsequent request should be entertained unless there are extreme compassionate grounds.

(iv)Minimum amount for financial assistance

The following minimum amounts of financial assistance to be proposed for sanction have been fixed:

Group A: Rs. 10,000/- Group C: Rs. 3,000/-

Group B: Rs. 5,000/- Group D: Rs. 1,000/-

(v)Coverage of financial assistance

Financial assistance is admissible only to the officer/staff, his/her unemployed spouse and dependent children. No financial assistance is admissible to dependents, including dependent parents.

(vi)Ceiling on amount of financial assistance

In case of dependent children and spouse (unemployed), the officer/staff is entitled to financial assistance with an overall cap of Rs. 7.5 lakhs in the entire career. However, there is no limit on the amount of financial assistance for departmental officials. To monitor the maximum overall cap of Rs. 7.5 lakh for the treatment of dependent children and spouse (unemployed) of the officials, the following procedure should be followed

(a)Entries in the Service Book of the officer/staff of the financial assistances for medical expenses from the Welfare Fund are required to be made. To computerize / monitor the details by the Directorate of Logistics, the Commissioner, while forwarding the proposal shall certify that the name of the officer is as per the Service Book and also give details regarding change of name, if any.

(b)The Commissioner while forwarding the requests of financial assistance for medical expenses shall send the details of financial assistance hitherto granted to the officer / staff in his entire career as per the Service Book and details of proposals in respect of that officer if any pending with the Directorate. The Commissioner should also enclose certificate to this effect from the officer / staff in the proforma given at Annexure-III.

(vii)Expenses on maternity/termination of pregnancy in emergencies would not be admissible to officer/staff having more than two surviving children.

(viii)No financial assistance is admissible to retired officers / staff.

(ix)Mandatory Deductions

On Room charges:-

(a) 15% of the non-reimbursable charges are deducted in cases when ICU/CCU/ICCU charges are shown separately.

25% of the non-reimbursable room charges are deducted in cases when room charges are shown separately.

(b)In case of reimbursement under package deal (room charges are included in package rates), a sum of 500/- per day is deducted.

On Sundry charges:-

Full deduction on sundry expenses.

Overall deduction: After deductions, on account of the non reimbursement room charges and sundry charges, a further deduction of 25% of the remaining non-reimbursement expenses is made to arrive at the final amount admissible for financial assistance from the Welfare Fund.

(x)Waiver of deductions:- There will be full waiver of the amount on account of mandatory deduction in the following cases:-

(a) Illness or accidents resulting in death of the official

(b) Illness or accidents resulting in serious physical or mental infirmity, which permanently incapacitates the official for further service.

(c) A partial bodily or mental infirmity or handicap like loss of vision/hearing/limbs. In such cases, a minimum physical handicap to the extent prescribed for qualifying a person for consideration for employment under the PH quota, may justify the waiver.

(xi)Ceiling on room charges: The ceiling on room charges (category-wise) have been fixed as given below for grant of financial assistance:

Category

Type of room

Rent per day

Group A

Single Room

Rs. 4,500/-

Group B

Twin S...

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