The Ministry of Finance recently asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to keep in abeyance a decision that allows Indian Administrative Service (IAS),Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers and their family members to get treatment abroad at government cost. Despite this,the DoPT did not keep the decision,which may eventually cost the government exchequer heavily,in abeyance.
Now,sources say the finance ministry has sent a reminder to the DoPT on the matter,which has been forwarded to the Prime Ministers Office as the PM is the minister-in-charge of the department. The circular,issued by the DoPT in September,said,The scale of expenditure and eligibility is identical to scale of expenditure and eligibility of an official of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) of the corresponding grade in the Ministry of External Affairs.
These rules apply to around 4,500 IAS,3,300 IPS and 2,700 IFoS officers.
Following this,the Department of Expenditure,which comes under the finance ministry,wrote to DoPT saying it would need to be consulted on the issue before a decision was taken since it had financial implications. Sources said the Department of Expenditure advised that the decision should be kept in abeyance. But having failed to get a response on the issue,the finance ministry sent a reminder to the DoPT last week.
An RTI application filed by The Indian Express requesting a copy of the letter written by the finance ministry on the issue was turned down because the file is under submission.
Asked about its letter and reminder to the DoPT,the Department of Expenditure said,Correspondence exchanged between DoPT and DoE on the subject is classified in nature,hence,the information sought by you cannot be given.
According to documents related to approval of this decision,DoPT is of the opinion that since these facilities are already available for other services,the department merely removed discrepancies by issuing a circular. Hence,it felt consultation with finance ministry was not required.