Whether Gramin Dak Sevak (GDS) are getting benefits of EPF and ESI?- Lok Sabha Question


Recently, an unstarred question no. 282 "Whether Gramin Dak Sevak (GDS) are getting benefits of EPF and ESI? has been asked in Lok Sabha. The answer to the above question is attached below for your reference.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
DEPARTMENT OF POSTS
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 582
TO BE ANSWERED ON 16TH SEPTEMBER, 2020

GRAMIN DAK SEVAKS

582. SHRI SANJAY SADASHIVRAO MANDLIK:
SHRI BIDYUT BARAN MAHATO:
SHRI SUDHEER GUPTA:
SHRI SHRIRANG APPA BARNE:

Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS be pleased to state:

(a) whether Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDSs) are getting benefits of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor;

(b) the details of all welfare schemes being extended to GDSs;

(c) the reasons for restricting maximum working hours for GDSs to five hours a day;

(d) whether the Government is aware that many of GDSs exceed the aforesaid working hour limit due to the nature of their work;

(e) if so, the steps taken/being taken by the Government to compensate for exceeding working hours; and

(f) whether the Government proposes to regularize GDSs and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF STATE FOR COMMUNICATIONS, EDUCATION AND
ELECTRONICS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI SANJAY DHOTRE)

(a) No, Sir. Department has no regulation to cover the Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDSs) under Employees’ Provident Fund ( EPF) and Employees’ State Insurance ( ESI). The GDSs are holders of a civil post but outside the regular civil service. Hence, they cannot be treated as regular employees.

In a civil APPEAL No. 3050 and 3151 OF 2019 of Gurusewak Singh and Others, Honourable Supreme Court has observed that a GDS is not an employee under the 1972 Gratuity Act. GDS work is part-time in nature and for this work, they are being paid Time Related Continuity Allowance. In addition, it is imperative for every GDS to have alternate means of livelihood for their engagement.

(b) The details of welfare schemes extended by the Government to GDSs are enclosed in Annexure-I.

)c( The maximum working hours for GDSs has been restricted to five hours a day as the work of GDS is part-time in nature and for this work, they are being paid Time Related Continuity Allowance (TRCA). In addition, it is imperative for every GDS to have alternate means of livelihood for their engagement.

(d) No, Sir.

(e) Does not arise in view of reply to (d) above.

(f) No, Sir. The Gramin Dak Sevaks work for a minimum of four hours and a maximum of five hours a day. This work is part-time in nature and for this work, they are being paid Time Related Continuity Allowance. In addition, it is imperative for every GDS to have alternate means of livelihood for their engagement. Moreover, the Honourable Supreme Court in the Judgement pronounced in 1977, held that though the Gramin Dak Sevaks are holders of civil posts, they are outside the regular civil service. Recently, in a common order dated 17.11.2016 of Honourable CAT Principal Bench Delhi in OAs No.749/2015, 3540/2015 & 613/2015 filed by GDS, the Honourable CAT rejected the claim of GDS for parity with a regular civil servant.

Promotional Avenues:-

(1) Gramin Dak Sevaks are considered for absorption as multi-tasking staff in 50% of vacancies on seniority cum fitness basis and 25% by Competitive Examination.

(2) Gramin Dak Sevaks up to the age of 50 years are considered for recruitment in 50% of vacancies of Postman by Competitive Examination.

(3) Unfilled vacancies of Postal Assistants of a promotion quota are offered to Gramin Dak Sevaks subject to fulfillment of educational qualification, age, etc. and their being successful in the aptitude test.

ANNEXURE-I 

The following welfare schemes are extended by the Government to GDSs:-

(i) Rs.10,000/- Financial Assistance to families of deceased GDS to meet immediate expenses following Death occurring during duty/outside duty hours.

(ii) Rs.1,50,000/- Death due to terrorist activity /dacoity, while on duty.

(iii) Rs.12,000/- Financial Assistance in case of death of GDSs due to riots, attack by robbers and terrorists while not on duty.

(iv) Rs.25,000/- Financial Assistance in case of death of GDS while being on duty due to accident.

(v) Rs.5,000/ - Funeral Expenses on death of GDS.

(vi) Rs.20,000/- Financial Assistance in case of major surgical operations in ailments, like cancer, brain hemorrhage, kidney failure/transplant, heart surgery, etc.

(vii) Rs.5,000/- Financial Assistance in case of accident of GDS while being on duty, requiring hospitalization for more than three days.

(viii) Rs.400/- p.m. Financial Assistance for Indoor Treatment and Rs.200/- p.m. for Out Door Treatment for a nutritional diet to GDS suffering from TB from Government Hospital only once for a maximum period of six months, provided that GDS has put in at least six years of engagement.

(ix) Following Grant of Scholarships under Educational Schemes to the Children of GDS (as per existing terms and conditions):-

(a) Rs.1000/- p.m. For IIT, AIIMS, and IIM.

(b) Technical Education:- Rs.280/- p.m. for Degree and Rs.190/- p.m. for Diploma.

(x) Non-Technical Degrees:- Rs.150/- p.m. for BA/B.SC/.B.Com, Degree in fine Arts and Rs.940/- p.a. for ITI Certificate Course.

(xi) Incentive for excellence in academic achievement for 10th and 12 class:-

Rs.1000/- for 1st position in the Circle/Region

Rs.800/- for 2nd position in the Circle/Region

Rs.700/- for 3rd position in the Circle/Region

Rs.600/- for 4th position in the Circle/Region

Rs.500/- for 5th position in the Circle/Region

(xii) Rs.200/- Scholarship for Physically handicapped children of GDS (for maximum 8 years and as per existing terms and conditions)

(xiii) Rs.5000/- Financial Assistance in case of natural calamities, like fire, flood, etc.

(xiv) Rs.6000/- per annum Children Education Facilitation Allowance subject to a maximum of two children.

(xv) Rs.20,000/- Financial Assistance in case of GDS employees suffering from COVID-19.

You can also check this lok sabha question in Hindi version from here.