Govt Clarifies Financial Aid for Railway Staff with Serious Illnesses – A Relief for Many

Financial assistance under Staff Benefit Fund(SBF) to the Railway employees suffering from serious ailments like Cancer, Kidney damage, HIV/AIDS, Liver Disease
Financial assistance under Staff Benefit Fund(SBF) to the Railway employees suffering from serious ailments like Cancer, Kidney damage, HIV/AIDS, Liver Disease

Railway Board’s Compassionate Move Brings Hope for Ailing Staff and their Families

For railway employees waging a difficult battle against life-threatening ailments, a recent clarification from the Railway Board has brought a much-needed ray of hope. The Board has addressed concerns raised by the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), paving the way for railway staff to receive financial assistance repeatedly from the Staff Benefit Fund (SBF) for serious medical conditions like cancer, kidney damage, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, and others.

Addressing a Long-Standing Demand

The clarification comes in response to NFIR’s demand (PNM Item No. 44/2018) to facilitate the grant of financial assistance through SBF twice a year for railway employees suffering from grave ailments. Previously, there was ambiguity regarding the frequency at which such assistance could be provided, causing distress among those grappling with the emotional and financial toll of critical illnesses.

Empowering SBF Committees for Staff Welfare

In its clarification, the Railway Board noted that no prior instructions had limited financial assistance from SBF to a single instance in cases of serious ailments. Furthermore, the existing guidelines under Rule 802(2) of the Indian Railway Establishment Code (IREC) Vol-I, Chapter-8 ‘Staff Benefit Fund,’ empower SBF Committees to incur expenditure on any item with the approval of the General Manager, if deemed essential for staff welfare.

Flexible Approach Based on Severity and Hardship

Acknowledging the varying degrees of hardship faced by employees and their families, the Railway Board has granted SBF Committees the flexibility to consider such special cases for providing financial assistance through SBF. The decision will be based on the severity of the ailments and the hardships encountered by the staff and their families, subject to the availability of funds under SBF.

A Compassionate Move Welcomed by Railway Unions

Railway unions have welcomed this compassionate move, expressing gratitude towards the Railway Board for recognizing the immense challenges faced by employees battling critical illnesses. The clarification not only provides financial relief but also carries a profound message of support and empathy for those navigating the arduous journey of recovery.

Summary of Key Points

  • Railway Board clarifies that no limit exists on the number of times financial assistance can be provided from SBF for serious ailments.
  • SBF Committees can consider providing assistance multiple times, based on the severity of the condition and hardships faced by employees and their families.
  • The decision is subject to the availability of funds under SBF and the approval of the General Manager.
  • This move addresses a long-standing demand from railway unions and brings hope for employees battling critical illnesses and their families.

Full Text of the Railway Board Order

Financial assistance under Staff Benefit Fund(SBF) to the Railway employees suffering from serious ailments like Cancer, Kidney damage, HIV/AIDS, Liver Disease – Clarification regarding financial assistance from Head/Activity No.8: Railway Board Order

भारत सरकार GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

रेल मंत्रालय MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS

(रेलवे बोर्ड) (RAILWAY BOARD)

No. 2024/E(WY/13/2

New Delhi, dated 13.05.2024

The General Managers/DGs/CAOs (P)

All Indian Railways, PUs & CTIs.

Sub.: Clarification regarding financial assistance from Head/Activity No.8 under Staff Benefit Fund(SBF) to the Railway employees suffering from serious ailments like Cancer, Kidney damage, HIV/AIDS, Liver Disease etc.-

A demand has been raised vide PNM Item No. 44/2018 by NFIR to facilitate grant of financial assistance through SBF twice a year for Railway employees suffering from serious ailments viz. Cancer, Kidney damage, HIV/AIDS, Liver Diseases etc.

  1. In this context, it is observed that no instructions have been issued by Board’s Office to the effect that in case of serious ailments, financial assistance is to be granted only once. Moreover, in terms of extant instructions contained under Rule 802(2) of IREC Vol-I, ‘“Chapter-8, Staff Benefit Fund’, SBF Committees have been empowered to incur expenditure on any item with the approval of GM, if the Committee considers that such expenditure is essential for the welfare of staff.

3, Accordingly, SBF Committees may consider such special cases for providing financial assistance through SBF, depending upon the severity of ailments and hardships faced by staff and their family members, duly taking into account the availability of funds under SBF.

(V. Somadas)

Deputy Director Estt. (Welfare)

Railway Board

Phone No:011-47845543

E-mail ID: v.somdas[at]gov.in

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Staff Benefit Fund (SBF) for railway employees?

The Staff Benefit Fund (SBF) is a fund maintained by Indian Railways to provide financial assistance and other welfare measures for its employees and their families. It is governed by specific rules and guidelines outlined in the Indian Railway Establishment Code (IREC).

What types of serious ailments are covered under the Railway Board’s clarification?

The Railway Board’s clarification specifically mentions financial assistance for railway employees suffering from severe ailments like cancer, kidney damage, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, and other critical illnesses. However, the SBF committees have the flexibility to consider other serious medical conditions as well.

How many times can a railway employee receive financial assistance from SBF for a serious illness?

According to the clarification, there is no limit on the number of times a railway employee can receive financial assistance from the SBF for a serious ailment. The assistance can be provided multiple times, subject to the availability of funds and the approval of the General Manager.

Who decides the eligibility and amount of financial assistance from SBF?

The decision to provide financial assistance from the SBF, and the amount to be granted, rests with the respective SBF Committees. They will consider the severity of the ailment, the hardships faced by the employee and their family, and the availability of funds under the SBF.

Can family members of railway employees also receive financial assistance from SBF for serious illnesses?

Yes, the Railway Board’s clarification mentions that the financial assistance can be provided based on the hardships faced by the staff and their family members. This implies that family members of railway employees may also be eligible for assistance in case of serious illnesses.

What are the other welfare measures provided by Indian Railways for its employees?

In addition to financial assistance through the SBF, Indian Railways provides various other welfare measures for its employees, such as medical facilities, retirement benefits, housing facilities, educational assistance, and more. These are governed by the relevant rules and regulations under the Indian Railway Establishment Code and other applicable guidelines.

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