Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Circular 24

15/1089-90, VASUNDHARA, VASUNDHARA (P.O.), Dt. GHAZIABAD (U.P), PIN-201012

Reference: AIA/Circular-24/2017                                                       Dated:  30th October 2017

Unit Secretaries,
Members & Spl. Invitees – NE &
Members of Women’s Committee

Dear Comrades,

Courtesy Meeting with CAG

The courtesy meeting with CAG was held on 25th October 2017. Comrades Tapas Bose, President and Anilkumar, Additional Secretary General were present from our side, in addition to the Secretary General. From the official side DAI, PD-Staff and AC(N) were also present.

Welcoming CAG on behalf of the membership we expressed the fond hope that he would be positively prompt in responding to the issues raised by the staff side just as he has granted the courtesy meeting within a short time.

After introduction, we presented the following issues
             1. Strengthening Audit & Accounts

                        The CAG of India is the ‘watchdog of Indian finances’. Somewhere, the department has withdrawn from this basic job. Performance Audit is given pre dominance over compliance audit, drastically curtailing the basic public accountability responsibilities. Reinforcing and strengthening of compliance audit with necessary manpower would do justice to the mandate under the Constitution.

                        Restructuring of audit put into effect from 1st April 2012 and rationalisation of staff strength in audit offices done in 2016 may kindly be revisited so as not to lose the basic character of the Department.

                 Audit of Panchayati Raj is limited to offering technical guidance while PRI Accounts is totally kept away. A vast area is kept out of CAG’s purview. This is an area where the Department should take an active role. This may be done without further delay.

       2.           Augmentation of Staff Strength

           Per centage of audit is inversely proportionate to the govt expenditure as well as expansion of government’s functions.

The same holds good for staff strength also. There is a drastic reduction in the man power position. Wide gap in the age profile of personnel at lower level is alarming.

           Along with revisiting the rationalisation of staff strength in audit offices done in 2016, there is a need to have a fresh approach – taking functional requirements and man power mobility into account.

       3. i) Need for new approach to Recruitment

           As we conduct the audit of State Governments and maintain accounts of state governments, knowledge of local language is increasing becoming a must for efficient discharge of functions in IA&AD.

           The Recruitment of personnel by Staff Selection Commission (SSC) doesn’t cater to our requirement, giving way to undesirable situations in field offices.

           It is necessary that IA&AD go for recruitment of local people which in turn will ensure better functional output.

 ii) Opening up of unilateral transfer

  The present recruitment policy of SSC has caused a situation where in vast majority of the personnel recruited are from other states, who are eager to return to their home states.

  The discontent amongst them is growing, as unilateral transfer is not allowed in IA&AD, with the result that the department is left with talented newly recruited personnel who are unhappy and demoralised.

  Regional Recruitment can help in opening up of unilateral transfer bringing cheer to those talented youngsters by which the Department would gain a lot.

          4.  Functional facilities to Associations

  The rules provide very little space to employees to vent their grievances, but even that limited space is denied to them many times.
  There are instances where major deviations by Heads of Departments at field level are overlooked and the employees responses to such deviations are dealt with heavy hand.

  Implementation of CCS (RSA) Rules, 1993 in IA&AD itself was a major deviation from the original rules which needs correction.

           The blanket ban imposed on demonstrations etc in the office premises denies the employees their minimum right to express their grievances peacefully. The ban order on demonstrations in the office premises needs to be undone. (Ministry of Labour & Employment has very recently - vide letter dated 3rd July 2017 - upheld the right of even unrecognized Association/Federation to hold demonstration to hold meeting demonstrations etc “provided that such meetings shall not disturb normal functioning of the unit/establishments…”).

           The massive victimisation in the aftermath of agitation on 8th April 2010 also may kindly be revisited and undone. This will definitely give a positive message.

A healthy discussion took place on strengthening Audit & Accounts and expansion in LB audit and accounts and also on recruitment policy. CAG made pointed queries on unilateral transfer and the victimisation on account of mass casual leave on 8th April 2017.

A Clarification, to clear some genuine doubts

We are confronted with some questions from some of the field units – now as well after the meeting with DAI also. One query is about not raising the issue of grant of 5400 to AAOs on completion of 4 years of service. Some of our comrades asked why this was not raised. (This question came up after meeting with DAI also).

The reason is quite simple that no purpose would be served by raising this issue with DAI or CAG as the issue is not in their hands. CAG can only recommend, it is the Govt that would take the final call – to be precise it is the Department of Expr that would have the final say.

To tell CAG that his recommendations are not honoured by the government is to belittle the CAG – it is as good as telling the CAG that you are not respected or counted by the Govt. It may make some of our unsuspecting members happy that we have told CAG so. But it will not help us, rather it may not be taken well by CAG and his administration. (They may feel that we are suspecting their sincerity).

We know that CAG administration has done its best in pursuing the issue of extension of the higher pay scale (Pay Matrix 9) to AAOs of IA&AD and other organised Accounts on completion of 4 years of service.

As regards the pay scales (of any cadre or section of employees in any Deptt), it is DOPT and more than that Deptt of Expr that has got the veto power.

We do assiduously work through various channels to get to the target and till we are sure that we are upto the target we don’t publicise it. We don’t play to gallery.

The issues taken with CAG

            The issues that we raised with CAG are of importance to the Department as well as to the personnel working in the Department. We raised the issue of audit restructuring done 2012, its ill effects on personnel, recorded our disagreement on the rationalisation of staff strength in audit offices, need for expansion of audit and accounts by strengthening our reach in audit of LB audit and taking over LB accounts citing the huge money involved in the area and the need of ensuring public accountability etc.

The increase in quantum of audit and accounts will alone ensure better promotional prospects to all cadres. We will have to approach the issue of cadre restructuring in IA&AD with that perspective.

Cadre restructuring is not only about asking for pay scales that has been denied to us so far. Nor we are going to reach anywhere by just raising a demand. To get higher pay scales we will have to mobilise the entirety of IA&AD personnel and agitate.

Cadre restructuring should also involve the correlation of cadres and functions and much more. When we submit a proposal on cadre restructuring we should have a vision of what the IA&AD should be and what role the personnel would have – including promotional avenues. (The HQr is working out on such proposals; hope to circulate it within a month’s time).

Unless the recruitment policy undergoes a change and number of posts goes up, the unilateral transfer of the new recruits would remain a demand, rhetoric, rather a dream of the young lot.

In the first meeting with CAG, we tried to present the basic demands on which we should and would build up a movement that would ensure time bound promotion to all, local recruitment and unilateral transfer etc.

Any presentation, demand would be of any sense only when it is pursued organisatioally i.e. through agitations, mass mobilisations. Any other route opted by anybody is nothing but fooling the members and tantamount to treachery. It is just like selling dreams without doing anything to achieve those dreams.

Building up a movement on the above issues depends on how effectively we communicate with our membership.

HQr is sure our that Unit leadership would undertake the task seriously and start working on it.

With greetings,

Yours fraternally

M. S. Raja
Secretary General