Jun 242016

Investigation Allowance Under 7th Pay Commission

There’s little-to-no doubt in the fact that high-profile cases of corporate fraud can put any country in embarrassing situations. India is no different, so it does everything to ensure the quality of officers in its investigation agencies is top notch. As a part of the process it also provides a number of incentives to those officials for doing their jobs with dedication. Investigation Allowance is one such little-heard incentive, which has earned some attention after 7th CPC submitted its recommendations to government. Let’s learn what it is and what commission has recommended about it.

Investigation Allowance

Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)

Before we can understand what Investigation Allowance is, it’s important to learn a bit about organization where it’s granted. It’s granted to officials of Serious Fraud Investigation Office or SFIO for short. The agency comes under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, and as its name suggests, it investigates serious cases of corporate fraud. It’s a diverse organization with officials coming from a wide range of backgrounds i.e. Information Technology, Financial sector, Corporate Governance, Customs, Law, Taxation and many others. These people are hand-picked from various government departments and sometimes also from ministries. SEBI, government banks, CAG and many other high-profile government bodies have contributed talent to SFIO. It has its headquarters in New Delhi and offices in many other major cities of country.

What is Investigation Allowance?

We already discussed the large and diverse pool of talent that comes to work at SFIO. Investigation Allowance is the incentive that attracts them to join this agency. It’s paid according to Grade Pay of officers. Current rates are given below:

Grade Pay Rate
4800 1400
5400 1400
6600 1400
8700 2000

The Failure of SFIO

Despite being a “multi-disciplinary” organization as it calls itself, SFIO has failed miserably at doing what it was supposed to do. It hasn’t accomplished any major success in conducting high-class probes. Neither its technological capabilities are as robust as those of other investigation agencies working in country nor it’s being able to attract enough manpower despite providing investigation allowance. The agency falls short of its sanctioned manpower even.

Investigation Allowance Under 7th Pay Commission

Thanks to these failures described above (especially the later one), 7th CPC has recommended the government to abolish Investigation Allowance altogether. Aside from that government has also been recommended by some experts in past to wind-up the agency. Therefore, the recommendation from 7th CPC isn’t really surprising. However, in the end it’ll be a choice of government. It may keep the Investigation Allowance (and SFIO too) if it wants to; if it doesn’t then the allowance, and later whole agency, may be shut down.

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