Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Campaign Material

Dear Comrade
 
A brief explanatory memorandum on charter of demands - common as well as departmental - is given below which may be used as Campaign material for the forthcoming indefinite strike commencing from 20th Jnaury 2008.
 
Raja

Campaign Material – Brief on Charter of Demands

 

1.         Grant Rs 10000 as minimum wage as per 15 ILC Norms.

  The Demand of the Central Govt. employees before the wage revision Commissions, when such a Commission had been set up was for the grant of minimum age as per the formula made by 15th ILC to which the sovereign Govt. was a party.  The 15th ILC as early as in 1957 had suggested that the workers in the country was entitled for a need based minimum wages, if not a fair  or living wage as enshrined in the constitution itself.  Once such a need based minimum wage is determined on the basis of the computation formula prescribed by Dr. Aykroyd and accepted by all concerned, the wage structure for all categories and cadres is to be constructed on the basis of a pre-determined ratio between the minimum wage so determined and the desirable level of maximum wage in the bureaucracy.

 

Before the 6th CPC too, the staff side had formulated the minimum wage on the basis of the said need based minimum wage formula..  ..  The successive pay commissions had been considering this demand and rejecting the same on the specious plea of the incapacity of the Govt. to afford such a wage structure.  The underdeveloped state of economy, the financial constraints on account of ridiculously low tax resources,  the huge outlay required for the development of key infrastructure facilities, the need for setting apart funds for the upliftment of poor etc. had been often cited as reasons for the illegitimate denial of the need based minimum wage.

 

The 6th CPC well knowing that such being not the state of Indian economy presently and a parrot like repetition of the phraseology employed by the earlier Commissions shall not hold water resorted to mutilation of the formula itself, whereby retail prices of essential commodities of day to day consumption were manufactured (not obtained from the retail market) by a presumptive addition of just 20% over the whole sale prices and  removing the 25% addition prescribed and later approved by the Supreme Court as essential for human sustenance and reducing the10% addition stipulated as a necessary ingredient for making the housing requirement of an employee.  The commission thus arrived at an absurd amount of Rs 5479 against Rs 9730 computed on a scientific basis in application of the Dr. Akroyd formula.  While this became the premise for the construction of wage structure in respect of the Gr.C and D employees and even to a great extent for Gr. B Officers too, a different yardstick was adopted for determination of salary for Group A Officers, with the result the wage differential between the employees and others widened.

 

Any discernible observer could find that the wages determined by the 6th CPC is thus lower than even what had been decided upon by the 5th CPC.  Rejecting the demand for the Need based wages on the plea of incapacity to pay on account of lack of tax revenue resources, the 5th CPC had stipulated that the minimum wage in Civil service should be computed on the basis of a percentage average increase of the Net National Product over a period of 10 years.  The NNP increase over a decade ending in 2003 was 56.2% above what it was in 1992, to which the 5th CPC minimum wage had been related to.  Had that been the principle of wage determination, the minimum wage ought to have been Rs 7400/ as against Rs 5479 determined by 6th CPC and finally raised to Rs 6606 by the Govt.

 

Once the imaginary feel good factor arising from the disbursement of the accumulated arrears of salary, withheld for the past two and half years, on account of the denial of the interim relief, the grim reality of depressed wage structure and stark fact of a factual wage reduction shall emerge. The correction required in the computation and determination of minimum wage cannot be denied on any valid ground and deserves to be fought out.

 

 

2.         Grant minimum fitment benefit of 2.625 times of pre-revised basic pay to bring about uniform rise of 40% in emoluments and raise grade pay to 50% of the maximum of the pre-revised scales in respect of PB 1,2 & 3 as has been done in the case of PB 4.

 

The point to point fixation, a methodology adopted by the 2nd CPC for fixation of wages of individual employees in implementation of the Commission's report had been the constant demand of the employees before all successive commissions.  The inability to realize the demand, the  denial of which was not only illegitimate but also depriving the benefit of wage revision for  the senior employees, had been the curse continuously heaped upon the employees who do not belong to the officer category in organized Group A or All India Services.  The tragic exposure of this phenomenon with no attempt to address or rectify gave rise to the widespread discontent amongst vast sections of senior employees in 1986. A repetition of it in 1997 by the 5th CPC became the central point for agitation forcing it to be the focal point of negotiation.  Alternative formulation had to be presented, for the demand for point to point fixation was rejected right at the beginning on the ground of huge financial outlay.   The application of multiplication factor of 3.25 universally applied for the construction of Pay scales by the 5 CPC itself was presented as an effective alternative to the point to point fixation.  During the discussion the employees organization put fourth alternatively  a uniform addition of 50% of the pre-revised basic pay, the conceding of which would have brought about near total uniformity in the financial benefit if not equivalent to point to point fixation.  It has to be stated in this context that point to point fixation is the demand constantly negotiated and settled in the wage negotiations of all PSU workers. Ultimate settlement of 40% rise in pre-revised basic pay after a four day long procrastinated negotiation with the Group of Ministers in 1997 brought about a great amount of satisfaction amongst the widest section of employees in 1997.  Having rejected the point to point fixation by the 6th Pay Commission for no genuine or valid reasoning the consensus emerged at the meeting of the Staff Side was to strive for the dispensation of atleast a minimum benefit of 40% rise in emoluments on the lines of the settlement brought about in 1997.  The conceptual formulation of incorporation of the clause "subject to a minimum of 2.625 time of the pre-revised basic pay" into the fitment formula evolved by the 6th CPC was the product of the thinking process to ensure that the senior employees do get justice. The replacement of the multiplying factor of 1.74 by 1.86 has not brought about the desired and required uniformity in the dispensation of financial benefit on revision of Pay.  It continues to be at variance between 23% to 87%, the top echelons in PB 3 enjoying the top crest in the percentage elevation.   We know our demand for a minimum rise in emoluments is not a substitute for the point to point fixation a benefit negotiated and settled at all times by our comrades in the Public Sector undertaking.  What is attempted is to ensure that no employee gets lesser than 40% rise in his emoluments while recognizing the fact that the top officials do benefit by double of it even under the existing dispensation.. This therefore, does not brook denial or delay and needs to be focused and fought out.

 

3.         No abolition of Gr.D. Posts and functions. Lift ban on recruitment, fill up all vacant posts and scrap screening Committee.

 

The VI-CPC has recommended for the abolition of Gr. D. posts numbering about 9.4 lakhs in the Government of India..  The CPC raised all the Gr. D employees existing in the Govt. sector to the status of a skilled worker and placed them in Gr. C pay scale.  The suggested pay scale of the upgraded personnel is a pre-revised pay of Rs 2750-70-3800-75-4400.  In fact the said pay scale was the fourth grade of pay suggested by the V-CPC for the unskilled workers.  In para 3.7.7 of the Pay commission recommendations the commission has observed that:

 

"Increasingly' basic work relating to cleaning, sweeping, maintenance etc. is being outsourced. This is a welcome trend that needs to be encouraged by bringing about systematic changing in the existing scheme so that the employees in Govt. are only utilized for requiring a certain levels of skills".

 

 It is a fact that majority of the functions presently carried out by the Gr.D. employees across the Board is unskilled.  What had actually been done by the Commission is to abolish the unskilled functions in the Governmental sector and pave way for more and more contractorisation of these jobs while the existing employees (whose working strength has become less than 50% of the sanctioned strength) might be classified as Gr.C. and assigned to do functions which are of skilled nature with lesser emoluments than what it could have been even as per the V-CPC recommendations.  It is therefore, a disastrous recommendation.  In the days to come the unskilled nature of jobs would be either outsourced or would be contractorised.  This recommendation therefore, is not for the benefit of the existing employees who are recruited as unskilled workers.  Now the recruitment will hereafter become unavailable in the Governmental sector for those who are in the lower strata of the society who could not afford or who are not provided even the primary education even though the universal primary education is stated to be the objective and goal of a welfare Government as per our constitution..  In fact they are being punished for the social inability or abdication of the responsibility on the part of the Government to provide them with a decent standard of living or the nascent requirement of primary education.  The recommendation is therefore, a by-product of the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the Govt. since 1991 which we have been fighting against all these years alongwith other segment of the working class.

 

4.         Grant 10% of pay+ Grade pay as minimum benefit on promotion or financial up gradation.

 

The financial benefit on promotion is presently governed by FR 22.  As per the extant provisions of the said rules a person who is promoted/appointed  on regular basis to a post which carry  higher responsibility will have the benefit of fixation of pay at the rate of one increment and fixation at next higher stage in the scale of pay of the post to which he is promoted.  This is subject to the grant of a minimum benefit of Rs 100/- in all cases of such promotions.  The present dispensation as per the recommendations of the VI CPC is only to grant a 3% increase in the pay and grade pay to persons who are promoted to a post with higher responsibility.  Since most of the employees in Gr. C & D do get their promotion after a long waiting period exceeding even 10 years, they usually do not get their pay fixed at the minimum of the pay scale or pay band of the cadre to which he is promoted whereas the personnel in Gr. A services being assured of time bound promotions do go into a different pay scale and placed at the minimum of the pay scale of the promoted grade, the financial benefit of which would be far in excess of the increase of 3% of the pay.   It was to ensure that everybody gets a reasonable rise in emoluments on promotion; the demand for a minimum benefit of 10% rise in the pay was placed by the staff side. This was in fact in consonance with the extant provisions in the fundamental rules. Rejection of this particular demand has no valid or genuine reason.  In the absence of any explicit reason, it is unreasonable.  In the cases where such promotions are accompanied by transfer It was pointed out by  staff side during discussions that often employees are transferred from one station to another on promotion and for various reasons, they are to suffer drop in emoluments on such transfer on promotion. This is therefore, an issue on which settlement has to be brought about.

 

 

5.         Fix the date of effect of all allowances as 1.1.2006.

 

The word 'Pay' connotes pay and allowances. Naturally, Pay revision has to invariably involve revision of pay and allowances. But separating these pay and allowances the 4th CPC proposed different dates for the implementation of its report – 1.1.86 for revised pay and a later date from all allowances. The Board of arbitration to which this was referred to after disagreement was recorded in the National Council, JCM awarded in favour of employees – the date of implementation of the report with respect to pay as well as allowances has to be from the same date, i.e. 1.1,986. The Government accepted this arbitration award in 1990 and implemented it.

 

Despite this development, 5th CPC also adopted the same dichotomy- separating allowances from pay (where as Dearness Allowance is revised from the date pay is revised).  Again the matter was referred to Board of Arbitration and the board of arbitration gave a verdict in favour of the employees – that HRA & CCA to be paid in old rates, but on new, revised pay scales.  This award is yet not implemented.

 

The 6 CPC has given scant regard to the two awards given in favour of the employees as regards grant of allowances from the day the pay revision comes into effect. In the present case, it will have to be from 1.1.2006.

 

 

6.         No performance related pay or bonus scheme

 

The Commission has recommended to replace the present scheme of Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB), as also the adhoc bonus system (where productivity was either described to be not measurable or for the non evolution of the parameters)  with a new system called the Performance Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS).  In Chapter 2.5 of the CPC report the PRIS has been detailed.  The Commission has quoted extensively the study that has been made by the IIM, Ahmedabad in this regard.  However, no concrete proposals to objectively assess the performance of either individuals or groups have been evolved.  It has ordained the concerned organizations to bring about a scheme immediately to replace the PLB within a stipulated time frame and in the case of adhoc bonus it is to be immediately dispensed with paving way for PRIS.  It is in fact the inability of the Govt. to prescribe certain well defined parameters for the evolution measurement of productivity that the system of adhoc bonus remained as it is despite the recommendations to do so by the IV & V CPCs.  A glance through the recommendations made in the chapter 2.5 gives the impression that  the Departments are supposed to make considerable savings through out-sourcing, right sizing, re-engineering, de-layering, simplification of procedure etc. and such savings so generated are to be used for the payment of the PRIS to its employees and those in the management too  It in other words, the commission wanted to replace the incentive bonus scheme presently available to the workers and savings so generated to be shared by those who are charged with the responsibility of management.  This apart, no where in the CPC report the word performance has been attempted to be defined in clear and unambiguous terms to make it understandable.  The incentive bonus in Governmental sector has been a product of struggle and negotiation.  The inbuilt infirmity if any is the product of an inefficient evolution of a formula.  The correction or amendment of which lies in the lap of management.  An abrupt closure of a scheme evolved through the process of negotiations and discussions backed up by  a prolonged struggle to be replaced by an ambiguous  or vague formulation couched in a high sounding phraisography  cannot be the method of going about either increasing the performance or productivity of any organization.  The CPC recommendation therefore is  unacceptable and if attempted to be implemented by force of  authority will have to be resisted with all the powers at command of the organized movement of the workers.  

 

 

7.         Revise the Transport and daily allowances as demanded by the staff side JCM National Council.

 

As per OM No 19030/3/2008-E.IV date 19th November 2008, Daily Allowance in monetary terms is no longer admissible to central government employees on tour. The OM further states that only the actual expenditure incurred with in the prescribed limits will only be reimbursed.

This will put vast majority of touring personnel into financial loss as it is near impossible to get receipts for meals and conveyance.

It is therefore a must that self certification be accepted to the extent of claims on food and conveyance expenditures.

Further, the DA rates may be revised with regard to those drawing Grade pay of 4200 to 4800 and below 4200 in the following manner as the rates prescribed by the 6 CPC and accepted by the government quite insufficient and unscientific.

 

Rs. 4200 to 4800 – Reimbursement of hotel accommodation of upto Rs 1000/- per day;  reimbursement of travel charges upto Rs 150 per diem for travel with in city and reimbursement of food not exceeding Rs 200 per day. The reimbursement of travel and food charges may be made on self certification.

     

Below Rs. 4200 - Reimbursement of hotel accommodation of upto Rs 700/- per day; reimbursement of travel charges upto Rs 150 per diem for travel within city and reimbursement of food not exceeding Rs 200 per day.

 

Transport allowance.      The recommendation of the Commission is to subsume the CCA in the Transport allowance and raise the existing Transport allowance by 4 times.  This has  reduced the proportionate benefit to certain grades and categories of employees.  It is therefore necessary that  no condition should be imposed for the grant of this allowance since the CCA has been subsumed in this allowance.  It is also necessary that taking into account that some of the employees might get reduced benefit due to  the 'across the board rise at the rate of 4 times' the rates need to be revised as under:.

 

Employees Drawing Grade Pay

A-1 / A Class Cities

Other Places

5400/- & Above

3200/-+DA

2400/-+DA

4200/- to 4800/-

2400/-+DA

1800+DA

Below 4200/-

1600/-+DA

1200/-+DA

 

                 

8.         Remove the condition of 6 months for applying the uniform date of 1st July as increment dates.

 

The CPC recommendation to bring about a uniform date of increment is not per se objectionable. The only demand placed by the employees had been that in respect of those whose increment date falls between 1st Feb. 2006 and June 2006 as per the extant stipulation will suffer a postponement of their increment beyond 12 months.  It cannot be the conscious stipulation of the commission but can only be an accidental outcome of rationalization of a scheme.  The suggestion made was to provide a one time benefit of awarding of an increment for all those whose increment date falls between Feb. and June 2006 consequent upon which  postponement of increment could be avoided and whatever financial outflow emerges shall only  be a one time phenomenon and not a recurring feature.  This is the only methodology to address the difficulty that emerged in the exercise of a rationalisation. This suggestion has been turned down obviously not for any sound or logic reason.

 

9.         ACP to be on hierarchical system obtaining in each department.

            

The scheme of Assured career progression was demanded by the Confederation in a separate memorandum before the 5 CPC to compensate and assuage the employees who have no chance of regular promotion in their long career spanning nearly 35 years. The 5 CPC had accepted this contention and proposed ACP. Before 6 CPC Confederation had demanded 3 ACPs.

 

The decision of the Government to grant 3 ACPs but not on hierarchy has taken away the charm of the ACP itself and it defeats the very purpose and spirit behind ACP. Further, it would accentuate the feeling of discrimination of those who did not benefit out of the 2 ACP scheme as they would still be placed below – even if they are seniors – what their juniors have drawn.

 

Also, granting a pay that does not even exist in one's department actually defeats the very purpose of ACP ie to compensate for the absence of promotional avenues

 

10.       Retain and improve CGHS and make insurance scheme optional

 

The Central Govt. Health Scheme with all its difficulties and infirmities, is considered to be the best available health care system both by the serving employees and pensioners.  The urge for its closure on the ground of increasing financial out-flow has  often been raised by the Government and became a strident proposal after the recommendations of the Expenditure Reforms Commission.  Insurance scheme was thought of an alternative for its replacement.  The pensioners who are not covered by the CGHS and who have settled down in towns and places beyond the ambit of CGHS do feel that they do not have a viable system of inpatient treatment when such exigency arises.  They feel that the insurance coverage might bring about a certain amount of improvement  in the situation where no facility exists presently whereas the CGHS beneficiaries rightly assumes that a better existing benefit is bring replaced by a subsidiary and less beneficial system.  It is in this context that the employees demanded the retention of the CGHS system and making the insurance scheme optional.  No decision has been taken or is being taken and the said indecision either as a means of design or a product of inefficiency debilitate the health care scheme for the CG Employees.  It is therefore, necessary that the Govt. should come to a finality in this matter as early as possible.

 

11.       Implement flexitime working hours for women/disabled employees as recommended by the 6 CPC and remove clause (iv) of OM No.13019/2/2008-Estt.(L) dated 18th Nov. 2008 on Child Care Leave.

 

The provision of flexi time facility for women employees was a recommendation made in the right direction by the VI-CPC.  The resolution of the Govt. of India in not  accepting the recommendation is sans a cogent argument. Had it been accepted it would have gone a long way in providing the required relief for women employees in discharging their natural responsibility of looking after their children and family without compromising the requirement of an efficient functioning of the organization in which they are employed.

 

The order in acceptance of the recommendation for the grant of Child Care Leave (CCL) was issued by the Department of Personnel on   11th Sept. 2008 enabling the women employees to avail the said leave.  However, vide OM No. 13019(2)/L/Estt/ dated 18.11.2008 the Govt. imposed certain condition for the grant of such leave. Condition No. iv of that OM reads as under:

 

"CCL can be sanctioned only if the employee concerned has no Earned Leave at her credit".

 

The very purpose for which the Child Care Leave (CCL) was conceived would be defeated if above condition is insisted upon.  The accumulation of Earned Leave is meant for meeting certain exigencies that happen in the service career of an employee.  If such leave is not allowed to be accumulated or exhausted the concerned employee will be in dire difficulties.  It is therefore, incomprehensive why such a condition is imposed by the Govt. It appears to be an afterthought.  It is a fact that due to the depletion of the No. of employees on account of continuous ban on recruitment, a blanket ban imposed without any rhyme or reason by the DOPT with the sole objective of reducing the manpower, the work load would further increase for the employees if the women employees are allowed to go on leave.  The denial of the leave cannot be a solution to the problem which has actually been created by the insensitive decision on the part of the Department of Personnel.  What is needed is that the DOPT should immediately withdraw the arbitrary imposition on ban on recruitment and simultaneously withdraw the condition No.iv in the OM cited to enable the women employees to avail the CCL who are in dire need of it.

 

12.       Direct all the Departmental Heads to settle 6th CPC related department specific demands/problems within a stipulated time.

 

As result of the implementation of the 6 CPC report, one will find numerous anomalies – common to all central government employees and specific to certain departments. The anomalies common to all CG employees will come up for discussion the National Council, JCM.

 

The departmental level anomalies have to be settled at the departmental levels, through the appropriate forums. The experience after 5 CPC was that majority of the Departments did not take any step to settle these anomalies as the JCM at that level was made non functional. Even today in many departments, the meting of the Departmental Council of the JCM either do not take or convened at irregular interval. Not only the anomalies are to be settled within a time frame and in case of disagreement between the official and staff side a mechanism should be evolved to bring about resolution to the issue.

 

13.       Grant civil servant status and Pension to 'Gramin Dak-Sevaks.'

 

The Government constituted Natraja Murti Committee [a retired Postal Officer] to go into the pay and allowances and other issues of three lakhs of Gramin Dak Sewaks in the Department of Posts as against the demand of constitution of a Judicial Committee. The Report of the above GDS Committee contains a lot of negative recommendations. Not only the Status of a Civil Servant is denied to them but several other established procedures like fixing the pro-rata wages on comparison with the related category of regular employees like Mail Overseer Postman for GDS Postmasters; Postman for GDS Mail Deliverer; Minimum scale of pay in CG Services for the Group D type of GDS is denied this time. The demand for statutory pension as recommended last time by the Justice Talwar Committee is also diluted this time and a service discharge benefit scheme is recommended with certain conditions. There are recommendations to cut the strength of existing GDS in a drastic manner through various recommendations for abolition, relocation, tightened standards etc. The GDS Committee had gone out of its terms and references and recommended various curbs on the trade union rights of this cadre. The GDS Union went on an indefinite strike supported by the NFPE and the department has assured adequate opportunity for discussion before proposals are finalized to be sent to Cabinet after the Senior Officers Committee constituted to finalize the stand on the recommendations of GDS Committee. The NFPE and the GDS Union have before the Senior Officers Committee and discussed on their Note submitted seeking modifications and improvement. By the time we go on strike, this issue would be very clear as to whether the Senior Officers Committee and the Department would agree to modify the recommendations of GDS Committee as demanded by the Staff Side including Civil Servants status and statutory pension. Since modifications are very essential to avoid serious attacks on the existing rights and privileges of three lakhs of GDS, this demand attains very much significance. 

                                  

14.       No reduction in the commutation value and restoration of full pension after 12 years.

 

The 5th CPC had indicated that the Government should review the period by which the commuted value of pension is returned to the pensioner.  This was due to the fact that the commuted value of pension is fully recovered along with interest by the Government within a period of 10 years. There is, therefore, no justification for restoration period being 15 years.  The 6th Pay Commission has recommended that the table of commutation should be revised taking into various factors.  The Government has decided to implement the said decision without lowering the restoration period. While the official side had been eloquent on the need for the revision of the table they had no response for the justified plea for the reduction of the restoration period, when the matter was subjected to discussion first with the Secretary Personnel and later with the Cabinet Secretary.  There had been hardly any justification for the reduction in the commutation value.   Having reduced the commutation value it is but necessary that the Government issue orders for restoration of the commuted value after 12 years. 

 

15.       Compute the pension entitlement on the basis of notional pay as on 1.1.1996

 

The 5th pay commission had accepted the principle of parity in pension between pre 86 and post 86 retirees. This principle is required to be extended to pre-96 retirees. For this purpose the pay of the pre 96 retirees may have to be first be fixed in the revised pay scales of 5th CPC. The notional pay thus arrived at has to be treated as emoluments and pension determined accordingly for those who retired from service prior to 31.12.2005.  The very principle of parity in pension brought about by the Supreme Court judgment has been violated by the denial of acceptance of this demand.

 

Part II

 

Demands pending settlement for long in the National Council JCM.

 

The demands included in this part has been the subject matter of discussion and campaign on many occasions in the  past.  Therefore, no attempt is being made to elucidate these issues in detail, except in a brief manner.

 

  1. No outsourcing or Contractorisation of Govt.. functions.

 

Even though we could make the Group of Ministers of the UF Government of 1997 agree for the non implementation of the 5th CPC recommendations on outsourcing, privatization, contractorisation etc, the subsequent Govt. which came to power appointed the Geethakrishnan Committee, which you are aware made recommendations for the closure of many departments and outsourcing of very many functions hitherto carried out by the Government employees.  In one way or other most of the Departments were affected adversely in implementation of the said committee's suggestion. The 6th CPC suggestions are to accentuate this process and coupled with the ban on recruitment, the situation in most of the organizations is bound to be precarious.

 

  1. Grant statutory defined pension scheme to the employees recruited after 1.1.2004 and withdraw the PFRDA Bill from Parliament.

 

The present defined benefit scheme of pension was introduced replacing the then existing contributory system.  As part of the neo liberal economic policies, the Government decided to reconvert the same into contributory and make the fund available for the stock market operations. It is the vagaries of the stock market which will determine the pension returns from this fund.  Before the introduction of the PFRDA bill, the Government had set up a committee under the chairmanship of Shri Bhattacharya, Chief Secretary of the State of Karnataka. The bill has been drafted and presented to the Parliament disregarding even the recommendation of the said committee to the effect that the Govt. should consider introducing a hybrid system by which the employees will have a defined benefit, if they choose to be satisfied with the said return.  The Bill could not be passed in the Parliament as the Left Parties took the principled position that they would not support a proposal detrimental to the interest of the employees.  Despite the non passage of the bill and the consequent absence of a valid law to support the Pension Regulatory authority, the Govt. has converted the existing pension scheme into a contributory one and invested a percentage of the fund so generated from the employees contribution in the Stock market, whose index has crashed to one third of the value at the time of investment.

 

Pension is earned by an employee by rendering service and therefore there is no requirement of any payment by the employee for earning pension. This statutory right of the employee is enforceable through courts.. The supreme court has declared pension as one of the fundamental rights. The government should therefore retrace from its avowed position, which is detrimental to the interest of the employees and ensure that the employees recruited after 1.1.2004 is covered by the existing statutory defined benefit scheme by withdrawing the PFRDA bill from the Parliament.

 

  1. Implement the Board of Arbitration Awards.

 

The Joint Consultative machinery was concerned as a forum for meaningful discussion and negotiation of the day to day problems and issues of the Government employees to ensure that industrial peace exist. The arbitration was conceived in the scheme as a measure to resolve the issue on which agreement could not be reached between the staff side and official side through discussion.  The Board of Arbitration is chaired by an High Court Judge assisted by a representative each from the Staff and official sides. It is agreed upon that the awards of the Board of Arbitration are binding on both the parties and are to be implemented.  That had been the case till 1992.  There are sixteen awards of the Board of Arbitration given in favour of the employees while scores of references made to the Board had been rejected and thus reached finality as the employees have no forum for appeal.  However, the Govt. has chosen to approach the Parliament to get these awards given in favour of the employees under the sovereign power of the highest legislative forum of the country.  Even the Parliament is entitled to reject the same only on extreme financial implication which affect the National economy. None of these awards deserve such rejection.  In the wake of the strike notice, the Government decided to review its earlier decision and withdrew the resolution from the Parliament and the matter has been discussed on several occasions in the Standing Committee without reaching any settlement even after the Staff side indicating its readiness to forego the arrears in order to reduce the financial outflow for the Govt. may be implemented in the light of discussions held and modifications proposed by the staff side.

 

  1. Remove the arbitrary 5% ceiling and 3 years condition on compassionate appointment and withdraw court cases and absorb all waitlisted RRR .

 

On the pretext of the directive of the Supreme Court, Govt. introduced the concept of a 5% ceiling on the compassionate appointment.  The fact was that there had been no such directive from the Honourable Supreme Court.  There had been no rhyme or reason for this stipulation.  Despite the repeated discussion on the subject at the National Council and its Standing Committee and the solemn assurance given by the Cabinet Secretary in the wake of the last strike action, nothing has been done in this regard to resolve the issue.  It is pertinent to mention in this connection that the compassionate appointments in the Railways continue to be operated without any such ceiling. Moreover in the Department of Posts hundreds of compassionate appointment candidates selected by Selection Committee are being denied jobs and attempt to oust them is on. Through legal stay orders these candidates known as RRR Candidates are fighting the battle. The Government should withdraw the SLP filed against them and absorb them all as regular employees.

 

  1. Implement the revision of bonus ceiling @ 3500/- in the case of all personnel employed by the Government including casual/contingent and daily rated workers and Grameen Dak Sewaks. Replace adhoc bonus with the PLB and remove the 60 days ceiling.

 

Even after the amendment to the Bonus Act and despite the issuance of orders raising the computation ceiling of Rs. 2500 to 3500 for regular employees in Governmental organizations, the casual and daily rated workers and the Grameen Dak Sewaks of the Postal Departments continue to be discriminated against.  Their bonus is still being calculated at the old ceiling limit of Rs. 2500. The Government should issue necessary clarification to cover these employees within the ambit of its orders raising the ceiling limit to Rs. 3500.

 

SECTION II

 

Departmental Charter

 

 1.     a)  Vacate victimization of Association activists.

b) Allow democratic functioning of Association without interference from        administration

 

Interference in the functioning of Associations/Federation

The provision regarding quorum is already there in the Constitution of all Associations as well as of Federation and this has already been approved by CAG while granting recognition. The democratic functioning of the Association shall have to be left to the members itself without intervention from administration. This is an unwarranted interference in the functioning of the Association. This may be withdrawn.

Deviation from the CCS (RSA) Rules 1993 leads to wrong interpretations, especially when two statements taken from two different contexts are put together and read. At certain point of time we are told, the provisions of CCS (RSA) Rules would not apply to Federations and at some other points we are told it would.

The CCS (RSA) Rules, 1993 stipulates that the Associations shall be recognised Ministry level/Departmental level. It was clarified by DOPT that existing Associations shall be permitted to retain the composite character if they desire so. These two provisions were violated in IA&AD. Recognition at field level were insisted, existing composite Associations were forced to split into four in all offices of Accountants General. This has to be set right, leaving the composition of Association to the employees, as stated by DOPT way back in 1984 (vide Comptroller & Auditor General's Circular No 1023-N4/45-84 dated 9.10.1984).

The CCS (RSA) Rules, 1993 lay down a time schedule for grant of recognition, starting from submission of application in April to grant of recognition in August. This is observed in more in violation. There are instances where it is more than two years and still recognition not granted. The Hqr office has so far not intervened to ensure the proper implementation of the well intentioned provisions of the CCS (RSA) Rules, 1993 which is urgently required.

The extant orders on re-verification of membership is not adhered to, rather it is blatantly violated as in the case of O/o AG (Audit) II, Mah, Nagpur. This simple issue is not set right even after nearly two years despite repeated discussions. In AG (A&E) Chennai, the re-verification is not acted upon even the letters of affiliation submitted by the Associations have not been forwarded to HQr. HQr office has to set itself as a role model for adherence to the well laid down rules and scrupulously ask the field offices to follow the suit.

New conditions are put in force for sanctioning of special casual leave for organisational work. When Govt of India OM makes it very clear that special casual leave is to be sanctioned for 'organisational work' in IA&AD new conditions are brought in.

The Executive Committee members of SO (Commercial)/AAO (Commercial) Association in Kerala are not sanctioned Special Casual Leave for attending meetings, so is the ordinary members of the said Association from Kerala for attending biennial General Body meetings.

Vice President of AG' office Accounts Association (Category III), Kerala is denied special casual leave for attending the meetings of National Executive Committee of this Federation as an invitee.

This Federation is refused permission to amend constitution permitting additional women delegates in Conference and Central Working Committee meetings without assigning any reason, though it is purely an organisational matter.

Victimisation of Association leaders and activists

The situation in Kerala need not be recounted. The rules are one sided and is blatantly misused. The AG (A&E) has crossed all limits of decency when he has installed CCTVs through out the office. The AG (A&E) even dared to dishonour the Comptroller & Auditor General of India when fresh chargesheets have been issued after CAG's visit, where as CAG himself assured the Association representatives that there will be no more chargesheets; HQr office has done little to correct him. The actions of the Accountant General goes to such an extend that even the request for cultural programmes by the L&R club are denied stating that L&R Club has got a person proceeded against under Rule 14/16 in its elected committee!  

Even little democratic dissent from the Association is dealt with chargesheets, as in the case of AG (Audit), Gujarat, Rajkot. The President of the Association is first transferred to field party, against the extant orders on facilities to recognised Association, and then suspended on flimsy grounds.   

The employees will have respect for rule of law when the officers who are meant to implement it go by the rule book in all respects. When rules are implemented in a pick and choose manner and also vindictively, with no rhyme and reason, that would only cause resentment and unrest. This is what exactly taking place in IA&AD. 

In Gwalior also the leaders and activists of this Association had face victimisation only because they came forward to protect the then Accountant General from being physically harmed.

 2.        Strengthen Audit & Accounts to Safeguard People's Rights

a)      Stop down sizing; Stop outsourcing & privatisation of Audit & Accounts; Scrap curtailment/shedding of Audit functions in the name of Audit Plan.

b)      Ensure continuance of the existing Accounting and Auditing methodologies and appropriate party days with scientific work norms.

c)      Ensure effective Panchayati Raj Audit & Accounts by sanctioning more posts.

 

Founding fathers of the Constitution saw in the CAG a position that is equivalent or more important than judiciary. This was because of the nature of responsibilities that he has to discharge.

The developments in the recent past gives an impression that the higher ups in the Department are more interested in having skeleton activities. The Drastic curtailment in regularity and propriety audit, overstressing on Performance Audit – as if we had never had performance audit in the past – etc and usage of phrases like risk based audit etc are nothing but an attempt to abdicate the constitutional responsibility vested on the CAG.

All these are used to reduce the manpower at lower level upto Sr Auditor/Accountant and the shortage of manpower is used to curtail audit further and introduce outsourcing of functions.

It is quite ironic that in the recently concluded AG's Conference – if the Press reports are to be believed – the demand has been raised for Constitutional amendment for power to CAG at par with Vigilance Commissioner but not a single word has been said about the need to entrust the PRI audit fully to CAG through a Constitutional amendment. That would have really enhanced the role of CAG through breadth and width of the country. This itself raises doubt on the intention behind this demand – the Department is withdrawing from the role of a pro-active 'Comptroller' to a very superficial 'Auditor General' with no responsibility but with only power. This is an affront to the Indian Constitution.

It is therefore a must that the Department takes steps for widening and deepening the scope of the functions, audit as well as accounts including that of Panchayati Raj Institution, revisit the bifurcation of the office of Accountants General on functional grounds and develop a multi-skilled manpower from the lower level. Risk based Audit and Performance audit may be used as additional tools. Otherwise the whole audit edifice would be under risk.

 

3.      Redesignate LDC as Audit/Accounts Assistant, grant PB1 Grade Pay 2800 (4500-7000 pre-revised) and grant following pay scales to other cadres, maintaining vertical relativity.

                                    Auditor/Accountant/Steno Gr II : PB2, GP 4200

                                    SA/Steno Gr I                             : PB2, GP 4600

                                    SO/AAO/Private Secretary    : PB2, GP 4800

                                                                                    & PB3 GP 5400 on completion of 4 years

                                    AO                                          : PB3, GP 6600

                                    SAO                                        : PB3, GP 7600 

 

Advertisements for DEOs IA&AD have been made in the pay scale of 4500-7000 (pre-revised). There are many LDCs who are waiting for more than a decade to get a promotion as Auditor/Accountant. Many are working as DEO on deputation basis. Without considering the existing personnel for higher pay, resorting to direct recruitment in post, keeping these persons on deputation is injustice. It is therefore requested that all the existing LDCs may be promoted as one time measure to the post of DEO before any fresh recruit come to occupy the post.

            Further, creating a cadre of DEO would, in the long term, run into difficulties as it would be out of regular structure of IA&AD. An integrated cadre, from where one could go as Auditor/Accountant, is the best. It is therefore proposed that the cadre of LDC may be upgraded and merged with DEO with a different nomenclature, say, Audit/Accounts Assistants.

            The 6 CPC has proposed that the auditor/accountant be placed in the pay band 2 with grade pay 4200 (para 3.1.14 read with 10.56). This has been denied. This may be granted with effect from 1.1.2006. The placing of Auditor/Accountant at GP 4200 would delayer the cadre restructuring we had in 1984, extended to Accounts in 1987. Separate pay scales are proposed in all the departments for computer related work. In IA&AD, the nature of functions is such it would be difficult to differentiate between EDP personnel and others. Taking this aspect as well as to maintain the cadre relativities – it may be pointed out that the cadre restructuring was effected in 1984 and then extended to Accounts in 1987 on functional basis, pl. refer MIR) – it is necessary that the Sr. Auditor/Accountant is place in PB2 with Grade Pay of 4600 and no separate EDP scales are proposed.

            In this connection it may be pointed out that the study (job evaluation) conducted by Administrative Staff College, Hyderabad at the instance of 3rd CPC had placed Accountants/Auditors on higher point rating than that of Assistants of Central Secretariat. Recognising this fact, it is required that atleast Sr Accountant/Sr Auditors are placed (upgraded) to the post of 7450-115009 ie Grade Pay 4600.

            On completion of four years all AAOs may be granted grade pay of 5400 in PB 3, in the pattern that existed in IA&AD, as is granted to Section officers in Central Secretariat, Railway Board etc.

            This could occur when the AO and Sr AO pay scales have been upgraded. Further, a senior Divisional Accounts officer who is in PB3 with grade pay 5400 is supervised by AO/SAO. It is a functional requirement that AO and SAO are granted GP of 6600 and 7600 respectively in PB 3.

 

4.               Fill up all vacant posts and sanction adequate post as per the agreement of   16.10.1992.

5.                

Though the process of recruitment of few hundred DEO has been initiated, but it is yet not known whether the process of recruiting auditors and accountants in the deficit offices have been initiated or not.

            The rationale of recruiting DEO cannot be appreciated as it is outside the cadre – hierarchy of IA&AD. As proposed elsewhere in this note, a re-look in the functions of LDC in the changed context is required as it has become multiskilled. Taking this cadre may be upgraded and placed at the same pedestal of DEO (this issue is discussed separately). 

But the sanctioned strength of IA & AD that was 72,000 + and the person in position 65,000+ in 1995-96, has come down to 50,000+ in 2006-07. There has been no recruitment in any cadre (except few in SO Cadre) since 2000-2001. Even recruitment to one post against three vacancies has not been adhered to in IA&AD. There are wings where no Auditor has been recruited for the last two decades.

The volume of work has not changed much, in audit side it has, rather, grown. For want of manpower, many audits are abandoned. Under Audit Plan, these abandoned audits are never taken into account for future planning. It is doubtful whether even 1% audit is taking place, when test audit is to be at 8.33%.

In A&E side many of the crucial functions in Accounts are not done. After 1984, issuance of utilisation certificates and proper tracking down of Abstract Contingency Bills drawn, but unsettled, are not properly attended to.

Additional work like PRI audit is not at all attended to (This issue is dealt with separately).

The functions of IA & AD demands adequate manpower to discharge the responsibilities thrust upon under the constitution. Reducing the quantum of audit tantamount to disrespect to constitution.

Therefore, it is very necessary that the posts that were abolished are restored and all vacancies are filled in through recruitment of fresh hands in all cadres in both Audit & Accounts.

 

5.    a) Amend Company Law and DPC Act for Audit of Public Sector Undertakings      &  Corporations even after reduction of Government share to below 50%.

b)  Amend Company Law to ensure the Audit by IA&AD of all Public Limited        Companies listed with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

     c) Enact necessary law to bring audit of all public Financial Institutions by IA&AD.

 

This demand is self explanatory. The CAG of India should move the Government and take a formal, public stand on these.  

 

6.          Permit graduate Gr.D employees to appear SOG Examination as before.

 

            In the earlier days, the graduate Gr Ds were permitted to appear for SOG examination directly, which was discontinued in the 1980s. This may be restored. The Department will be beneficiary of the scheme.

 

7.       Step up of pay of senior promotees who exhausted ACP, in the event of juniors drawing more pay on getting ACP.

 

            Under the ACP scheme that was in vogue, many a personnel who got promoted from the cadre of LDC were denied benefit under ACP while their juniors –who are direct recruits in the Auditor/Accountant cadre – got financial upgradation under ACP. This caused lot of disparity in the pay with seniors drawing less and junior drawing more pay. Though OM granting ACP does not permit it to be considered as anomaly, none can deny that there exists an anomaly.

            The grant of 3rd ACP – as decided by government recently, the orders on which are yet not been issued – would not solve this discrimination, rather it may perpetuate it.

            The government may be moved on this and the stepping up of pay from the date of junior drawing more pay on account of ACP may be allowed.

 

8.         Grant ACP on hierarchical pattern.

 

            The decision of the Government to grant 3 ACPs but not on hierarchy has taken away the charm of 3rd ACP. Further, it would accentuate the feeling of discrimination of those who did not benefit out of the 2 ACP scheme as they would still be placed below – even if they are seniors – what their juniors have drawn.

            Also, granting a pay that does not even exist in one's department actually defeats the very purpose of ACP ie to compensate for the absence of promotional avenues. In a Department like IA&AD which has got a distinct hierarchy that would be more.

            Hence the Department should forcefully take up the issue of grant of ACP on hierarchical pattern and pursue it to its logical conclusion.

 

9.     Re-designate Supervisor as Section Officer; grant further promotion upto AO/SAO; earmark   20% of AAO (SO) cadre for Supervisors.

In CSS, graduate intake – ie to the cadre of Assistant - is 20%. In IA&AD, the graduate intake is more than 50%  -50% direct recruitment and 10% through promotion of graduate LDCs in audit and 33 1/3rd % by direct recruit and 33 1/3rd % through promotion of graduate LDC (by away of departmental examination in both cases) -  in auditor –accountant cadres. In CSS, an Assistant with out negotiating any departmental examination can reach upto Under Secretary.     

But only handful of Auditor/Accountant of IA&AD can reach upto the pay scale of SO but are not granted the status and a good number will have to content with ACP and many not even get that.

It is therefore proposed that the post of Supervisor be redesignated as Section Officer and promotion upto Senior AO be granted on seniority cum fitness basis.

 

10.       Grant promotion to employees against the direct recruitment quota.

 

            Direct recruitment element is 50% in Auditor cadre and 33 1/3rd % in Accountant cadre. With no recruitment having taken place during the last decade, the promotional avenue of LDCs (majority of then are graduates) are greatly adversely affected. Waiting period for a LDC to become Accountant is nearly 10 years in almost every AE offices. This is the case in some separate Audit offices also.

            Similarly many matriculate and even some graduate Gr Ds are not promoted as LDCs for the operation of vacancy based roster point.

            A one time relaxation to operate all the direct recruit vacancies in favour of departmental candidates would be great help to hundreds of those LDCs and Gr Ds. This was once done in 1991-92.

            It is therefore requested that one time relaxation may be granted in the recruitment rules for operation of the unfilled posts under direct recruitment quota in favour of seniority promotion.

 

11.    Regularise the ad-hoc Section officers by creating sufficient posts; promote all SOGE passed hands as one time measure; Grant one increment and Grade pay of AAO on passing SOG Exam.

 

The scheme of adhoc section officer was introduced in 1995-96 to ease the huge waiting list of SOGE passed candidates. The was negotiated with All India Audit & Audit Accounts Association as an offshoot of the decision in which All India Audit & Accounts Association agreed for computerisation. It was envisaged that one-sixth of SOGE personnel in each office would be promoted as Adhoc Section officer on the condition that these adhoc SOs would be used in Computerisation of functions. The waiting list as on that day of decision would be cleared and was cleared over a period of six years.

            The scheme of adhoc SO was over in 2001-02, but even today good number of them are  still continuing as Adhoc Section officer, not having been regularised. Majority of them are in AE offices.

            Expansion of functions – in breadth and width – can only ensure regularisation of all adhoc SOs. Change of ratio as is done in Railway Accounts can bring about some relaxation in AE offices.

On passing the SOG examination ((both parts), the qualified candidates were paid Rs 70/-pm in the first year and Rs 140/- pm in the second year which has now been doubled as per 6 CPC recommendation. This is quite a paltry compensation compared to the rise one get if promoted immediately on being declared successful.

 

It is therefore demanded that those qualified hands may be paid the grade pay of SO/AAO ie Rs 4800 in addition to one increment of the pay in the pay band from the last date of examination.

 

12.       Restore unilateral transfer policy.

 

The system of unilateral transfer in cadres where provision for direct recruitment is there was in vogue in the Department from the very beginning. The scheme was suspended in 1995-96 for a short period and then re-introduced with certain stipulations.

But later on complete ban was imposed on unilateral transfer. This has caused great inconvenience to employees seeking unilateral transfer.

The scheme of unilateral transfer as existed may please be restored. 

           

13.       Restoration of provision of Metal Passes to AAO's working in Railway Audit Offices.

 

Gr B Gazetted officers of Railways are given metal passes enabling them to get better facilities befitting their stature. But the same is not extended to Assistant Audit Officers of Railway Audit offices depriving them the stature and status of Gazetted officers. The spacious plea that the AAOs of Railway Accounts are not extended with the facility of metal passes cannot be accepted as the it is because of the Railways have not granted Gazetted status to them. The AAOs of Railway Audit should be extended with all facilities that are extended to gazetted officers of Railways. 

 

14.     Remove the economic criteria for Compassionate ground appointment and re-open all past cases.

 

In the year 2003, Department introduced certain economic criteria separately for different categories of IA&AD personnel for being considered fit for employment under compassionate ground. This financial ceiling was enhanced by 50% in 2006.

            This economic criteria is prevalent only in IA&AD under the government of India. The result is that many a applications are summarily & mechanically rejected without applying 'compassion'. Dependants of hundreds those died in harness are not considered for appointments.

            Even cases reconsidered under Hqr's initiative are not reconsidered, despite the fact that they are really deserving and eligible cases.

It is therefore necessary that the economic criteria may please be withdrawn and all the past cases    may be reopened.            

 

14.              Revise TA/DA rates and permit self certification to claim re-imbursement of food and conveyance charges

            As per OM No 19030/3/2008-E.IV date 19th November 2008, Daily Allowance in monetary terms is no longer admissible to central government employees on tour. The OM further states that only the actual expenditure incurred with in the prescribed limits will only be reimbursed.

            This will put vast majority of touring personnel into financial loss as it is near impossible to get receipts for meals and conveyance.

            It is therefore proposed that self certification may be accepted to the extent of claims on food and conveyance expenditures.

            Further, the DA rates may be revised with regard to those drawing Grade pay of 4200 to 4800 and below 4200 in the following manner.

 

            Rs. 4200 to 4800 – Reimbursement of hotel accommodation of upto Rs 1000/- per day;  reimbursement of travel charges upto Rs 150 per diem for travel with in city and reimbursement of food not exceeding Rs 200 per day. The reimbursement of travel and food charges may be made on self certification.

     

            Below Rs. 4200 - Reimbursement of hotel accommodation of upto Rs 700/- per day; reimbursement of travel charges upto Rs 150 per diem for travel within city and reimbursement of food not exceeding Rs 200 per day. Government may please be moved in this regard.

 

15.               Revise TA/DA rates and permit self certification to claim re-imbursement of food and conveyance charges

 

            As per OM No 19030/3/2008-E.IV date 19th November 2008, Daily Allowance in monetary terms is no longer admissible to central government employees on tour. The OM further states that only the actual expenditure incurred with in the prescribed limits will only be reimbursed.

            This will put vast majority of touring personnel into financial loss as it is near impossible to get receipts for meals and conveyance.

            It is therefore proposed that self certification may be accepted to the extent of claims on food and conveyance expenditures.

            Further, the DA rates may be revised with regard to those drawing Grade pay of 4200 to 4800 and below 4200 in the following manner.

            Rs. 4200 to 4800 – Reimbursement of hotel accommodation of upto Rs 1000/- per day;  reimbursement of travel charges upto Rs 150 per diem for travel with in city and reimbursement of food not exceeding Rs 200 per day. The reimbursement of travel and food charges may be made on self certification.

            Below Rs. 4200 - Reimbursement of hotel accommodation of upto Rs 700/- per day; reimbursement of travel charges upto Rs 150 per diem for travel within city and reimbursement of food not exceeding Rs 200 per day. Government may please be moved in this regard.

 

16.       Grant three increments on passing departmental  Confirmatory examination

 

The High Court of Madras in their judgment dated 30.12.2007 in Writ Petition No.13258 of 2003 Union of India & Others Vs. A Palani & Others have upheld the Order 20.11.2002 passed by CAT Madras Bench made in OA. No.229 of 2002.

            According to this judgment, all auditors on passing the Departmental Confirmatory Examination may be granted 4 advance increments.

            Since this is a judgment in-rem, it has to be implemented in respect of Auditors/Accountants in all offices of IA&AD.

            It is therefore demanded that Four Advance increments (it will, in result, be only three as by the time one clears departmental confirmatory exam, he/she would have drawn one increment)  replacing the existing qualifying pay may be granted to all auditors from the date following the date on which they have qualified in the Departmental Confirmatory Examination.

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