At the beginning, police members got risk allowance as per the duration of their job. But after the 2015 Finance Ministry circular, the risk allowance will go down even if someone is promoted
There has been discontent among members of police holding the ranks from constable to sub-inspector (SI) over risk allowances.
An official receives the allowance based on her or his rank. The duration of the career is not considered. Under the current system, the allowance increases after every five years for each rank.
But it takes quite some time for the officials to get promoted. Once they climb up the ladder, they get risk allowance designated for that specific rank. However, the amount is lower compared to what the person received in her or his previous post.
Senior police officials have had talks with the Home Affairs and Finance Ministries over the matter several times in the past. But this discrepancy was not dispelled even after the Finance Ministry issued a circular again last year.
On October 18, 2015, the Finance Ministry issued a circular regarding risk allowance of police constable, ASI, SI, sergeant and TSI. The circular fixed the age-based risk allowance after every five years of service.
This means, the policemen holding the ranks will get risk allowance in five categories according to their time in the force. For example, a constable gets Tk1,500 during the first five years of his service, between the fifth and 10th year Tk1,800, between 10 to 15 years Tk2,200.
The amount rises to Tk2,500 during the 15th to 20th year of the service and those serving for 20 years or more get Tk3,400 as risk allowance.
In the same order, a nayek is entitled to Tk1,700 risk allowance during the first five years of his service. The amount rises to Tk2,000 for the next five years. When the job is between 10 and 15 years old, a nayek gets Tk2,400 as risk allowance, during 15 to 20 years Tk2,900, and for 20 years and more Tk3,400.
Similarly, an assistant sub-inspector (armed) gets Tk1,800 risk allowance in the first five years of his service, between five and 10 years Tk2,200, between 10 and 15 years Tk2,700, between 15 and 20 years Tk3,200 and for 20 years and more Tk3,800.
Officers holding the ranks of SI, sergeant and TSI get Tk2,700 risk allowance in the first five years of their services. Between the fifth and 10th year, they get Tk3,200, between 10 and 15 years Tk3,800, between 15 and 20 years Tk4,500 and for 20 years and more Tk5,400.
The circular came into effect from July 1 2016. Constables and SIs are directly appointed while the two other posts have to be filled up through promotions. These officials enjoyed 30% risk allowance before 2015.
It takes a constable minimum eight to 10 years on average to get promoted. A constable is entitled to Tk2,200 risk allowance when the job is 10 years old.
However, when a constable is promoted to the rank of ASI, the official becomes entitled to the risk allowance allocated for the ASI for the first years of service, which is lower compared to what the official had been receiving after 10 years of service as a constable.
The situation is similar for promotion to other posts. It has created discontent among the policemen.
Police headquarters media and public relations department’s Assistant Inspector General Soheli Ferdous said everyone got risk allowance as per the existing system.
An official of the police headquarters said that the police chief, home secretary and minister were aware of the feeling of discontent over risk allowance. The ministry, too, had been informed.
To resolve the issue, a circular was issued again on August 23 last year from the Finance Ministry but the goal was not achieved. Police headquarters say risk allowance is being given according to the circular issued in 2015.
A police officer said the allowance was being given considering the duration or age of the job. There are ambiguities over the definition. For police, the duration or age of the job refers to one’s time in a post. This is why the risk allowance goes down.
This means that the risk allowance a constable would get after promotion will be less compared to the amount what he or she would get after serving for 10 to 15 years as constable.
“The problem lies there,” the official from police headquarters said. “At the beginning, police members got risk allowance as per the duration of their job. But the 2015 Finance Ministry circular fixed risk allowance according to the duration of the post. That is why the risk allowance will go down even if someone is promoted.”
The official said it would be possible to solve the problem if the whole time spent in the job is considered as the job duration. “We have presented the matter before the home minister,” the official said. “It is being worked on.”
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune