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Grant of Interest Free Festival Advance, 2017

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Government of West Bengal
Finance Department
Audit Branch

No. 3708-F(P2)/FA/O/2M/493/12. Howrah, the 13th June, 2017.

Sub: GRANT OF INTEREST FREE FESTIVAL ADVANCE TO STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FOR THE YEAR 2017

The undersigned is directed by order of the Governor to say that the Governor has been pleased to order that if a State Government employee whose revised emoluments on 31st March, 2017 exceeded Rs. 26,000/- per month but did not exceed Rs. 36,000/- per month applies for Interest-free festival advance, he/she may be granted an advance up to a maximum of Rs. 5000/- only.

The authorities competent to sanction the interest-free festival advance are those mentioned in rule 320 of the West Bengal Financial Rules, Volume-I.

2. The undersigned is further directed to say that the benefit of interest-free festival advance may also be allowed to (a) the whole time piece-rate workers, either permanent or temporary and (b) the employees belonging to work charged/contingent establishments. Such employees drawing revised emoluments exceeding Rs. 26,000/per month but not exceeding Rs. 36,000/- per month on 31st March, 2017 may be allowed to draw the interest-free festival advance up to a maximum of Rs. 5,000/- only if they apply for the same.

3. In case of the employees falling under Para 2 above, the authority sanctioning the advance shall certify after being satisfied that the employees are likely to continue in service until the recovery is completed.

4. The advance will be recovered from the salary of the Government employees/ workers concerned as above in not more than 10 monthly instalments. If the amount of advance is exactly divisible by ten, it will be recovered in the equal monthly instalments. If not, the figure obtained by dividing the amount by ten should be rounded off to the nearest rupee which will be the amount of each of the first nine monthly instalments, and the balance will be recoved in the tenth monthly instalment. The same method of calculation will apply mutatis-mutandis where the advance will be repaid in less than ten instalments. The recovery of the advance sanctioned under this order will begin either from the salary for the month of November, 2017 or from the salary for the month following the month in which the advance is drawn, whichever is earlier. However, recovery in all cases should be completed by 31st August, 2018 at the latest.

5. The State Government employees who will retire/leave Government service on a date after the issue of this order but before 1st November, 2017 will not be allowed any festival advance. However, an employee who will retire after 1st November, 2017 will be eligible for interest free festival advance sanctioned in this order subject to the condition that the recovery should be completed on or before the month of his superannuation.

6. (a) Persons who have entered or will enter into State Government Service for the first time after 31st March, 2017 but before 1st October, 2017 will be entitled to the benefit of interest free festival advance as sanctioned in this order subject to fulfilment of the terms and conditions as laid down and their emoluments for the purpose of payment of advance will be determined on the basis of their emoluments at the time of entry into Government service.

(b) The benefit of interest-free festival advance sanctioned herein above will also be admissible to the State Government employees who have been appointed on regular or on contract basis provided they are not eligible to draw ad-hoc bonus on pro-rata basis sanctioned for accounting year 2016-2017 and further provided their regular or contract emoluments did not exceed Rs. 36,000/- per month.

7. The benefit of interest-free festival advance sanctioned herein above will also be admissible to the personal staff of Chief Minister, Ministers and Minister of State as well as to the Personal staff attached to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on the same terms and conditions as laid down above provided they are not eligible to draw ad-hoc bonus for the accounting year 2016-2017.

8. The benefit of interest-free festival advance will also be admissible to the personal staff of the Leader of the Opposition of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly provided they are not sanctioned ad-hoc bonus for the accounting year 2016-2017.

9. The benefit of interest-free festival advance will also be admissible to the regular teaching and non-teaching staff of the educational institutions and regular employees of Panchayat & Local bodies.

10. Central Government Employees on deputation to the State Government may be granted festival advance as may be sanctioned by the Government of India for Central Government Employees subject to the terms and conditions as may be laid down by the Government of India in this regard.

11. For the purpose of this order, members of All India Services serving in connection with the affairs of the State will be regarded as State Government employees.

12. For the employees who are drawing pay in the revised scale, the term ’emoluments’ will, mean basic pay (i.e pay in the pay band plus grade pay), dearness allowance and non-practicing allowance, if any,

13. The term ’emoluments’ in the case of employees drawing pay and allowances in the un-revised scale, will include basic pay, personal pay, special pay, dearness pay, dearness allowance, deputation (duty) allowance and special allowance (Additional remuneration).

In case of retired Government employees on re-employment, the term ’emoluments’ will mean remuneration drawn by them in terms of Finance Department Memo. No. 3951-F dated 27-05-2009 plus basic pension and dearness relief on pension.

14. Application for interest-free festival advance on the strength of this order by all employees shall be made as early as possible.

DISBURSEMENT OF INTEREST-FREE FESTIVAL ADVANCE (WHEREVER APPLIED FOR) ON THE STRENGTH OF THIS ORDER SHOULD BE MADE IN CASE OF MUSLIM EMPLOYEES BY 19th JUNE, 2017 AND IN CASE OF PAYMENT TO OTHER EMPLOYEES (OTHER THAN MUSLIM EMPLOYEES) SHOULD BE MADE IN BETWEEN 11th SEPTEMBER, 2017 TO 18th SEPTEMBER, 2017.

In case of failure, such disbursement should be completed before 1st December, 2017 in case of all employees at the latest. The Drawing and Disbursing Officers in order to minimize the number of bills should as far as possible, prepare one bill for advance in such cases in respect of the establishment/office for which they act as Drawing and Disbursing Officers.

15. The advance excluding the advance to the employees borne on work-charged establishment will be debited to the standard detailed head ‘Salaries-Pay’ under all major, minor and sub-heads in the budget grant available for the financial year 2017-2018 the recoveries thereof being automatically adjusted by monthly deduction of instalments of advance paid to an employee from his/her pay. No new detailed head is required to be opened for this purpose as per new classification in accounts. The advance to persons borne on work-charged establishments will be debited to the same head from which their wage is met.

Sd/- D. K. Mahapatra
O.S.D. & E.O. Special Secretary to the
Government of West Bengal
Finance Department

No. 3708-F dated 13.06.2017, Source