In this regards Rule 11 of ROPA Rule 2009 may be quoted: -
House Rent Allowance – With effect from the 1st April, 2009, the house rent allowance admissible to a Government employee shall be 15% of his revised basic pay, i.e., aggregate of the Band Pay plus Grade Pay and NPA, if any, in the revised Pay Structure subject to a maximum of Rs. 6,000/- per month. The ceiling of house rent
allowance drawn by husband and wife together shall also be raised to Rs. 6,000/- per month.
The existing terms and conditions of drawal of house rent allowance by Government employees living in their own house or in a rented house shall continue to apply.
Subject to continuance of the existing terms and conditions regulating drawal of house rent allowance by Government employees provided with accommodation owned / hired by the Government and recovery of licence fee from them, the following conditions West Bengal Services (Revision of Pay and Allowance) Rules, 2009 31 shall be there with effect from 1st April, 2009 in respect of such category of employees:-
(i) When a Government accommodation being in a habitable condition in all respect with appropriate supply of water, power and toilet arrangements for individual families and such a Government accommodation is earmarked for holder of a particular post, the holder will not be entitled to
house rent allowance for living elsewhere.
(ii) Group D employees, when they occupy an accommodation provided by the Government (i.e., the accommodations are earmarked) and according
to their entitlement, will be exempted from payment of licence fee.
(iii) Group D employees, who are required to occupy below standard or below entitlement accommodations, but when such accommodations are not
earmarked for them, will also be exempted from payment of licence fee.
In this context Honorable Calcutta High Court pass as order in a case, which is as follows: -
Order to revise house rent rule
A husband and a wife who are government employees are both entitled to house rent allowance if one of them is posted a “reasonable distance” away from the other, Calcutta High Court has said.
The government now offers the allowance to either the husband or the wife if the distance between their workplaces is less than 250km.
But the court today ask- ed the government to redraw the house rent allowance policy using a “reasonable dis- tance” instead of 250km as the cut-off.
The matter came up during the hearing of a case moved by a Murshidabad teacher whose husband works for the railways in Calcutta.
Since Shukla Das’s hus-band stays 225km from her school in Kandi, she is not entitled to her house rent allowance, according to the rule that came into effect following a circular issued in October 2007. “She stays in a rented house at Purandarpur but she doesn’t get any rent allowance as her husband is already getting it,” said her lawyer Kaushik Chanda.
Das welcomed the order. “I had repeatedly told the authorities that I deserved the allowance but nothing happened. So, I moved court earlier this month.”
Opposing the petition, government lawyer Kamalesh Jha had said: “Fixing the house rent allowance for government employees is an administrative decision and the court should not interfere in the matter.”
However, Justice Biswanath Somadder said: “As the transport system and infrastructure in our country are not so developed that an employee can travel 450km a day to attend his/her place of work and return home, the government should fix a reasonable distance from home to the workplace if it wants to give house rent to only one of them.”
Before the 2007 circular, all state government employees were entitled to house rent allowance.
“When the government realised that working couples were drawing double house rent but sharing the same accommodation, it adopted the existing policy. But the 250km norm was impractical,” said Chanda.
Source: Telegraph India
I can share my personal experience too: -
[color=indigo]My wife - a nursing staff joined her service at Purulia, whereas I was posted at Tollygunge - both of us enjoying House Rent Allowance which was below the permissible higher limit of HRA. After she transferred from Purulia to Dr B N Bose S/D Hospital and started availing Government Quarter in exchange of her HRA. Since the date of her acquisition of the Government quarter, through a declaration. I also have to surrender my HRA too.
After 2/3 months I have applied to my authority to allot me Government quarter at Tollygunge and the same has been allotted to me very soon.
Finally we decided to stay in a rented house as we are loosing a lump-some portion of our salary and both of us surrendered both of our Government Accommodation from a particular date.
Sine then both of us enjoying HRA subject to maximum limit.
Aamake aamar moto thakte dao