Jun 082016

Newspaper Allowance Rules Eligibility | Newspaper Allowance for Railways Employees,Central Government | Newspaper Allowance Taxable or Not? | Newspaper Allowance Exemption Limit Under 7th Pay Commission 

One of the key reasons why people still prefer government jobs over private ones is the number of perks and allowances that they provide. One of those allowances is Newspaper Allowance. I’m quite sure that you might not have heard a private company employee receiving that allowance. It’s enjoyed by the employees of Central Government only. So what it is? And what’s so special about it? Let’s find out:

Newspaper Allowance Rules Eligibility Tax Exemption Limit

  • Newspaper Allowance:

    The name of allowance is pretty self-explanatory itself, but still I’d like to offer an explanation. To help its gazetted officers administer their cities more effectively Central Government started reimbursing the purchase of newspaper on their residences in form of this allowance. It was an awesome addition to the salary of those employees, but that’s not the best thing about it. The best thing is something else. You want to know what it is? Then keep reading.

  • Newspaper Allowance: Rules and Eligibility

Gazetted officers working under Central Government are eligible for this allowance. However, like everything else this allowance is also dictated by some rules, which vary among different ministries and departments. Yes – the management of newspaper allowance has been left over ministries, which set their rules themselves. However, some general rules are given below:

  1. For most ministries this allowance is a reimbursement, which means it’s paid back to employees after they’ve paid their newspaper bills themselves. The employees need to claim the allowance with copies of their bills;
  2. Claims can be filed on quarterly basis;
  3. And finally, 15% of the bill amount is deducted while making the payment. You may revert this deduction by returning old newspapers, but if you decide to keep them then this deduction will be done.

Other rules (especially the limits of allowance) vary among ministries. You should check them with your department.

  • Newspaper Allowance for Railways Employees

This allowance is paid to the employees of Indian Railways as well. However, some limits have been  set regarding it, which are outlined in the table given below:

Rank Allowance
Jr. Scale and Assistant Officers Rs. 75 per month
Sr. Scale Rs. 125 per month
Junior Administrative Grade Rs. 200 per month
Senior Administrative Grade Rs. 300 per month
Higher Administrative Grade Rs. 400 per month

Another rule regarding this allowance in Railways is that officers who claim it can’t subscribe to a newspaper in their office.

  • Newspaper Allowance for Central Government

Aside from employees of Railways Gazetted officers in almost all other departments of Central Government are also eligible for newspaper allowance. And there’s a reason for it – when officers come armed with information from their homes, they can start execution as soon as they reach their offices.

  • Newspaper Allowance Taxable or Not?

Now this is the best thing we talked about in 1st section – newspaper allowance is tax free. It’s tax free because it’s a reimbursement, which mean no addition to the income because amount paid by government to the employee equals to the amount spent by him on the expense for which it has been paid.

  • Newspaper Allowance Exemption Limit

As long as you get less than Rs. 12,000 per annum as Newspaper allowance, it’ll be exempt from taxes. Needless to say that it’s more than enough to purchase as many as five Indian newspapers everyday.

  • Newspaper Allowance Under 7th CPC

7th CPC has recommended the government to increase this allowance by 25%. Moreover, the commission has also recommended that entire lump sum amount should be paid to employees without the need of producing bills.

While these changes are good news in general, they’ll come with their own limitation. Until now newspaper allowance was tax free, but now when it’ll be paid as a fixed sum it’ll be taxable because it won’t remain a reimbursement anymore. This has already been seen in some ministries where this allowance is currently paid as fixed sum. There’s no reason for government to change it.

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