This blog is meant for use by members of the Association for news and views.
Sri Vasudeva Chathra President Assistant Supdt. Post (HQ) O/o SSRM Bangalore-560026 Sri Manjunatha Hubballi [Circle Secretary] Superintendent of Post Offices Haveri Division Haveri-581110, Sri Joseph Rodrigues [Circle Treasurer] ASP (HQ) O/o The Sr. Supdt. of Post Offices Mangalore.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Sri M. Mariyappan Director Postal Services , North Karnataka Region Dharwad retiring on superannuation today.
We wish a happy, healthy and peaceful retired life.
Sounds odd, but the highest paid Indian bureaucrat till 1959 was the railway board chairman and not the cabinet secretary. The top rail bureaucrat, who was earlier called chief commissioner of railways, drew a basic salary of Rs 3,250 per month, a smart 8.3% more than that of the cabinet secretary, the senior-most bureaucrat in India. But as the fortunes of Indian Railways dwindled over the years — its market share in freight movement has shrunk from 90% in 1950 to 30% now — the clout of the rail bosses and their corresponding rank and pay have also slipped.
Today, the railway board chairman and eight other top rail babus receive a salary equivalent to a government of India secretary, a scale which as many as 230 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and 40 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers also draw. For good measure, the cabinet secretary now not only draws a higher salary than the railway board chairman, his superior rank comes with betterperks including a bungalow at Prithviraj Road located in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi.
Meanwhile, the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), a 5,541 officers-strong cadre responsible for collecting direct taxes in India, now claims that IRS should get better pay and perks than IAS. The entry-level salary for all Group A Central services is the same now, but thanks to two more increments and faster promotions, IAS maintains an edge over others. The basis for this claim? "Today, IRS — not IAS — is the revenue collector for the government. So, it's logical that the edge given to IAS should be given to us," says Jayant Misra, Income-Tax commissioner and general secretary of IRS Association. In a 58-page-long memorandum to the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC), which is now examining a pay like for Central government employees, the IRS Association argued that the primary reason for higher pay to the Indian Civil Service (ICS) of the British era and its successor service, IAS, was that they were revenue collectors. But now, the dynamics have changed, they claim.
IRS has argued that the net direct tax collection has grown 9.35 times between 2000-01 and 2013-14, an impressive piece of statistics in the backdrop of only 5.4 times expansion of GDP during the corresponding period. Also, the cost of revenue collection in India is one of the lowest in the world, which according to IRS officers is yet another reason for demanding a good deal from the CPC. For every Rs 100 they collect, the tax department spends merely 57 paisa. In percentage terms, the cost of revenue collection in India is 0.57% as against 1.58% in Japan, 1.35% in France, 1.17% in Canada and 1.05% in Australia.
Welcome to the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring before the Big Sarkari Pay Hike. With a new pay scale for 36 lakh Central government employees, and also pensioners, likely to come into effect from January 1, 2016, the officers and non-gazetted staff of various services have been lobbying hard to get a good deal from the 7th CPC. Unlike in the private sector, the pay hike in government is a once-in-10-years-affair, making every CPC, right from the first that submitted its report in 1947,a hugely powerful agency. No doubt, government employees have to undergo an annual appraisal process called Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR), but that exercise is important only for promotion, and not for any pay hike. Government employees do get a regular hike in dearness allowance, a measure meant for offsetting inflationary pressure on their earnings, but at the end of the day it is the CPC that fixes the bureaucrats' pay for 10 long years.
That's precisely why officers and staff of every service can't afford to ignore the CPC. Constituted in February 2014 under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court judge Ashok Kumar Mathur, the 7th CPC has an economist and two bureaucrats as its members. Most of the employees' associations have already had at least one round of talks with the Commission. And some are waiting for Round II. The Ripple Effects A cursory glance at the memorandum submitted by IPS Central Association on behalf of Indian Police Service (IPS) will throw light on the importance attached to a pay commission. The 137-page memorandum, a copy of which was reviewed by ET Magazine, is well designed and comparable to any standard report prepared by a global consultancy firm. PV Rama Sastry, an Inspector General of Police at National Investigation Agency (NIA) and secretary of IPS Central Association says the memorandum is the result of intense in-house research, factoring in the macro environment of growth, development, equity and justice vis-a-vis the role of a police officer. Though Sastry is the spokesperson of 4,720 IPS officers, the memorandum prepared by his team encompasses the role and needs of 30 lakh police personnel across India out of which 10 lakh come under the gamut of the pay commission. As the CPC recommendations are often accepted by the state governments as well, the remaining 20 lakh police personnel too may eventually benefit.
The IPS memorandum has quoted a number of reports to suggest that the tough life of a cop justifies the demand for a fatter hike. For example, it has quoted articles published in two journals — Global Journal of Medicine and Public Health and International Journal of Pharma and Bio-Sciences — to conclude that one of two cops in India suffers from sleep disturbances and anxiety whereas chances of cardiovascular problems increase by 38% after a person joins as a police officer. Among other demands (see What it Expects), IPS wants better life and health insurance cover, an overtime allowance and also a new perk called allowance for "un-social" hours (for duty between 8 pm and 6 am).
Railway officers too cite round-the-clock work demands as a reason for better salary. "A railway officer may be called to join duty any time during the night. The pressure always remains as it's a 24x7 work," says RR Prasad, an Indian Railway Personnel Service officer and secretary general of Federation of Railways Officers' Association. The Indian Railways is a gigantic organisation with over 13 lakh employees, 16,000 of whom are officers. Both the officers and staff associations have made their representations to the 7th CPC. The officers want non-gazetted staff to get their dues but they demand the proportion of the pay of the lowest and the highestpaid employee should increase from current 1:12 to 1:18.
To be sure, a formula towards pay parity has been the hallmark of the last few pay commissions. A government entry-level peon now gets a monthly pay of Rs 14,000, if dearness allowance is factored in. Similarly, a mid-level government driver's monthly salary, including allowances, is Rs 30,000, at least two times that of his counterpart in a private sector company. And that's why the salary gap between the lowest and highest paid government servant has drastically decreased over the last three decades.
The pay commissions have also reduced the disparity among the officers of various services. Till the late 1980s, an IAS officer used to receive a salary that's 25% higher than that of a Group A service officer. Today, the pay for all officers, at least at the entry level, is same. But IAS and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers still maintain an edge over others as their empanelment process (a step to get higher posts) is much faster. Balancing Act An IPS officer can become a joint secretary to government of India only two years after an IAS of the same batch can reach that level. Similarly, there has been a nine-yearlong gap in joint secretary empanelment between IAS and IRS, something many services claim is a continuation of the British legacy. Today, IAS officers at the level of deputy secretary and director at the Centre constitute about only 13% of the total officers. But as the hierarchy goes up, the percentage of IAS vis-a-vis others also rises. For example, 75% joint secretaries to government of India belong to IAS and IFS, and the percentage of IAS and IFS goes further up to 95 in case of government of India secretaries.
"The edge that the IAS has must continue. Why will a person join the IAS after quitting a job in HSBC Bank if that edge is missing? IAS officers have work experiences at Tehsil, sub-divisions, district, state and Central government levels. We interact with the political executives at all levels. IAS should remain a premium service," says Sanjay R Bhoosreddy, a joint-secretary-ranked officer and secretary to IAS (Central) Association.
On its part, the Indian Economic Service (IES) which has a cadre strength of 511 officers, represented in 55 Central government departments, has demanded parity in pay, perks and promotions of all services, including IAS, so that the "officers deliver what they have been employed for rather than fret over their pay and promotion prospects".
The question is how far the 7th CPC will go in changing the pay and associated service conditions like empanelment and promotions. IAS officers have pulled out a 1991 Supreme Court judgement (Mohan Kumar Singhania and Others vs Union of India and Others) where it was said that other services should not approach the pay commissions and attempt to change the rules of career progressions and push for a case for parity with the premier service. But other services are continuing their demand for pay parity and also for the creation of more departments where the IAS can't dictate. At present, only three major ministries — railways, external affairs and post — are not headed by IAS but run by their own cadres. Now, IPS wants a new department of internal security headed by a cop and IRS wants a separate direct tax department headed by a taxman.
Will the 7th CPC venture into such nuances? Or will it, like the past few pay commissions have, adopt a simple formula of Multiplier 3 under which the basic salary is hiked by three times or more depending on the economic health of the nation. If that is the case, it won't be too hazardous to make a prediction: A secretary to government of India will get a basic monthly salary (excluding DA) of Rs 2.4 lakh (current basic salary multiplied by three) and the cabinet secretary Rs 2.7 lakh from January 1, 2016. And, yes, perks, DA and other allowances will be extra.
Subject : Issue of combined All India Seniority List (Gradation list) of Inspector of Posts from the year 2001..reg.
Ref. : Dte. No. 9-09/2011-SPG dated 18/12/2014
Respected Sir, Your kind attention is invited to this Association’s letters of even number dated 1/9/2014, 13/10/2014 and 12/1/2015 regarding issue of combined seniority lists (Gradation List) of Inspector Posts cadre from the year 2001 onwards. IP/ASP Association would like to once again bring to your kind notice that, Directorate vide memo No. 9-09/2011-SPG dated 21/2/2014 has released seniority list of Inspector Posts cadre for the years 1998 and 1999, and thereafter vide memo No. d9-09/2011-SPG dated 18/12/2014 had issued only seniority list of Inspector Posts cadre for the year 2000 after issue of series of reminders to SPG Division of Directorate by this Association. As you know that during the course of informal meetings with Hon’ble Secretary (Posts) and the then Member (P) it was told that, pending seniority lists of Inspector Posts cadre will be issued in phase manner, but we are sorry to mention here that since last one year not a single year’s seniority list neither prepared nor released. As on date, 13 years seniority lists of Inspector Posts cadre are pending and if it is not released early, then records pertaining to these periods will not be easily available at Directorate (DE and SPG Division) and thereafter more problems will crop up to decide the seniority etc. In view of the above lines, it is therefore requested to kindly look into the matter personally and arrange for issue of Combined All India Seniority List of Inspector of Posts cadre from the year 2001 onwards as discussed in phase manner and if required IP/ASP staff who have already submitted their willingness to work at Directorate may be taken on deputation for this purpose. A positive action in the matter will be highly appreciated.
From April 1, customers of private banks have to spend more to avail of services. They will also face higher penalties for failing to maintain average balance in savings accounts. While banks are expected to cut lending rates from April 1, the increase in service charges and penalties will pinch customers.
All major private lenders - ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank - have decided to increase charges and penalties. ICICI Bank, India's largest private lender, will charge Rs 100 more for non-maintenance of average monthly balance in metros and Rs 50 more in semi-urban areas. The average monthly balance requirement for urban and semi-urban customers is Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively.
The bank will also charge cash deposits by customers or customer representatives at branches not in the city where the account is opened. While it will levy Rs 5 for every Rs 1,000 deposited at counters, deposits in machines will be free for the first transaction every month; Rs 5 for every Rs 1,000 will be charged from the second transaction. So far, there were no charges for the first cash deposit at the counter every month; in machines, customers could deposit as many times as they wanted.
"With effect from April 1, in the event of non-maintenance of minimum monthly average balance, the bank will notify customers by SMS/e-mail/ letter, etc, in the event of the minimum balance not being restored in the account in the subsequent month, charges for non-maintenance of minimum monthly average balance will be applicable," said ICICI Bank.
From April 1, HDFC Bank will charge Rs 75 for every 25-page chequebook beyond the first. It will charge Rs 150-600 for non-maintenance of minimum average monthly balance for urban customers (minimum average monthly balance Rs 10,000) and Rs 150-300 for semi-urban customers (minimum average monthly balance Rs 5,000).
Axis Bank has increased service charge for the 'Prime Plus' account segment from Rs 250 a month for non-maintenance of minimum balance to Rs 5 for every Rs 100 shortfall compared to the average monthly balance requirement or Rs 350, whichever is lower.
A similar increase will be implemented for the domestic prime (excluding some categories) and non-resident Indian segments. All these charges will be applicable from April 1. Customers will, however, be given a grace period of 30 days to meet the balance requirement and in case of non-maintenance, the service fee will be applicable. These charges are for metro/urban areas.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has raised the charges for non-maintenance of average monthly balance in 'Edge' savings accounts. If the average balance is less than the required amount but more than half of it, a charge of Rs 300 will be imposed (earlier Rs 250). If the average balance is less than half the required amount, the bank will charge Rs 400 (against Rs 350 earlier).
The bank has said from April 1, in case of a default in maintenance of average monthly balance, it will notify the customer, adding the average balance requirement has to be met in the subsequent month (notice month). Else, non-maintenance charges for both the 'default month' and 'notice month' would be imposed, it added.
It is informed by Chief Postmaster General Karnataka Circle Bangalore that
"In view of the request by Service
Unions to declare 21.03.2015 as Closed Holiday
for “Chandramana Ugadi” by foregoing the Closed Holiday for Ganesh Chaturthi on 17.09.2015(Thursday), Competent Authoirty has declared21.03.2015 as Closed Holiday for “Chandramana
General Secretary informed that it has been reported by the applicants that OA No. 296/2014 filed in CAT Hyderabad regarding grant of grade pay of Rs. 5400- to officers who have drawn GP Rs. 4800- for 4 years has been posted to 10.04.2015. Further updation may please be awaited.
Central government employees may get to visit some SAARC nations barring Pakistan under new Leave Travel Concession (LTC) rules being finalised by the Centre.
"Employees will be able to avail LTC to visit some SAARC countries. A proposal in this regard is being finalised by the government," Union Minister Jitendra Singh told .
LTC allows grant of leave and ticket reimbursement to eligible central government employees.
The decision has been taken to promote people-to-people contact and boost tourism among the SAARC regions, he said.
"The government has been taking many steps to promote trade and travel. This is one of such steps to further boost ties among SAARC nations," said Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a group of eight nations comprisingBangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and India.
Officials in the Personnel Ministry said the LTC facility will not be available for visiting Pakistan and few other nations due to security concerns.
The draft for new LTC rules is in initial stage and it will be finalised after inter-ministerial consultations, they said.
"One of the major decisions taken by the Narendra Modi government soon after it took over was to extend the facility of conversion of 'home town' LTC to visit states of Jammu & Kashmir, northeastern region and Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar for a further period of two years up to September 25, 2016," the Minister said.
The Personnel Ministry has been regularly reviewing LTC rules to allow government employees to visit unexplored places like northeast. The ministry is also considering allowing government servants not entitled to travel by air to fly in economy class.
The ministry has of late put in place measures to check misuse of LTC facility. CBI is probing fake travel bills scam (LTC scam) allegedly involving certain government employees and present and former Members of Parliament.
"All the ministries or departments are advised to bring it to the notice of all their employees that any misuse of LTC will be viewed seriously and the employees will be liable for appropriate action under the rules.
"In order to keep a check on any kind of misuse of LTC, ministries or departments are advised to randomly get some of the air tickets submitted by the officials verified from the airlines concerned with regard to the actual cost of air travel vis-a-vis the cost indicated on the air tickets submitted by the officials," according to an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.
As per the existing policy, the Central Government Administrative Offices observe up to 17 holidays in a year on specified occasions which consist of 3 National Holidays (on 26th January, 15th August and 2nd October) and 14 other holidays to celebrate festivals of different regions/religion in a diverse country like India.
At present there is no proposal under consideration of the Government to curtail the public holidays for government employees.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Minister of State in Prime Minister’s office Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question by Shri S. Thangavelu in the Rajya Sabha today.
"At present, there is no proposal to change working days for the Central government offices from five to six days a week or to reduce the retirement age of the Central government employees to 58 years," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
At present, the retirement age of the Central government employees is 60 years.
The Minister also said that the Seventh Central Pay Commission appointed in February 2014 is required to make its recommendations within 18 months from the date of its constitution.
Former Supreme Court Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur is the Chairman of the Commission.
The government constitutes Pay Commission almost every ten years to revise the pay scales of its employees and often these are adopted by states after some modification.
The Sixth Pay Commission was implemented with effect from January 1, 2006