Important Clarification on Hostel Subsidy under Children Education Allowance Scheme
Shri.Venugopal, Inspector of Customs, Trichy Customs Commissionerate wanted to share this clarification with GConnect readers. Though what Mr.Venugopal says might look simple, it’s an effective clarification in the sense that children education allowance claims of employees in many offices were restricted to the extent of hostel fees only and the amount claimed by employees in respect of tuition fees paid were rejected when both hostel subsidy and tuition fees were claimed.
The reason quoted by administration for the rejection was based on the condition provided in the Para 1(i) of Original Office Memorandum No: 12011/03/2008-Estt (Allowance) dated 02-09-2008, that both Hostel subsidy and Children Education Allowance cannot be availed concurrently.
This is the information that Shri.Venugopal wanted to share:
When I claimed hostel subsidy and tuition fees under the new Children Education Allowance Scheme for my daughter, my application was restricted to hostel fees only initially citing Para 1(i) of Office Memorandum No: 12011/03/2008-Estt (Allowance) dated 02-09-2008, though I have paid tuition fees under various heads and produced the bills for the same. I could realize that the intention of the Government is only to ensure that CEA sanctioned is limited to Rs.36,000/- per year and the claim of employees for tuition fees as well as hostel subsidy is to be allowed subject to the overall limit of Rs.36,000.
Later when I made suitable representation citing the clarification issued by Government in this regard, my office admitted the claim and allowed me reimbursement of Rs.36,000/- which consisted of hostel subsidy and tuition fees.
I would like to reproduce the gist of my representation so that similar audits made could be tackled well by our readers.
A clarification Memorandum No.12011/03/2008-Estt(Allow) dated 11.11.2008 was issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, New Delhi was issued in connection with Children Education Allowance and the extract of the same is reproduced below :
(i) Hostel Subsidy means expenses incurred by the Government. servant if he has to keep his children in the hostel of residential school away from the station at which he is posted/or is residing. It may include expenses towards boarding, lodging and expenses as detailed in Para (e) of the original OM No. 12011/3/2008-Estt(Allowance) dt. 2.9.2008
The expenses as detailed in the original OM No.12011/3/2008-Estt(Allowances) dt.2.9.2008 is as follows :
(e) Tuition fee, admission fee, laboratory fee, special fee charged for agriculture, electronics, music or any other subject………
So, Government has clearly clarified that Hostel subsidy includes tuition fees and consequently the amount paid under heads applicable under tuition fees is to be reimbursed. The only condition Government wanted to impose was the total of Hostel subsidy and tuition fees claimed should not exceed Rs.36,000/-