Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pay Panel : All Eyes on PM

Millions of central government employees, including those from defence and paramilitary forces, are eagerly waiting for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's response to the changes suggested by a high-level committee that examined the proposals of the 6th Pay Commission.

On Monday, the committee, headed by cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar and comprising secretaries of other key ministries, apprised the PM of the modifications made in the original recommendations, besides telling him about the financial burden that the implementation of the pay report would entail.

Top government sources, however, maintained that the changes were "only minor" as the original report was in itself a complete exercise and the hikes suggested were "already satisfactory".

They, however, indicated "some changes" in salaries and allowances of defence, paramilitary and police personnel. The review report is expected to be presented at the next meeting of the Union Cabinet and, if cleared, implemented thereafter. Sources said the entire exercise should not take "more than 10 days", provided the Cabinet does not call for clarifications.

The implementation of the report's key financial proposals is likely to further aggravate the inflationary pressure that is already impacting the economy adversely. According to the original report, submitted on March 24, the proposals are to be implemented with effect from January 2006 and the employees are anxiously waiting to receive the arrears of 31 months (till July), which should be a good amount at all levels.

The arrear payment burden itself would be over Rs 18,000 crore, but employee associations have argued that at the current salary levels, government servants are finding it hard to cope with rising prices.
Source : The Times of India

Modifications on pay panel suggestions presented to PM

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar on Monday made a presentation on modifications of 6th Pay Commission recommendations before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Although the details of the improvements, suggested by the high-level committee, were not known immediately, it is learnt that the committee informed the Prime Minister about the financial implications of the modifications.

The Government had earlier asked a committee of secretaries, headed by Chandrasekhar, to look into the recommendations made by Justice B N Srikrishna, who headed the 6th Pay Commission, on the salary structure of government employees following protests from different groups, especially personnel from the armed forces and IPS officers.

The pay commission has suggested an effective increase of 28 per cent in salaries of over four million central government employees.

The commission recommended implementation of the revised pay from January 1, 2006, which would impose an arrear payout burden of Rs 18,060 crore on the government.

The revised pays fixed the salary of Cabinet Secretary at Rs 90,000 a month and that for a Secretary at Rs 80,000 per month, while making Rs 6,660 as the minimum entry level salary.

Recommending a substantial increase in allowances and other benefits, the Commission also suggested a 40 per cent increase in pension and family pension.

Source : The Hindu

Monday, July 28, 2008

DA correction to add to pay panel’s goodies

he Sixth Pay Commission award for government officials is likely to be sweetened with an upward revision in the dearness allowance (DA) entitlement. The committee of secretaries (CoS) looking into the recommendations made by the Sixth Pay Commission has suggested a change in the DA calculations. This could result in additional benefit of Rs 300-3,000 a month to a government employee, depending on her level.

The CoS, headed by Cabinet secretary K M Chandrashekhar, is giving finishing touches to the report that is expected to be submitted soon. The report would then go to the Cabinet for approval. Government sources said the change has been suggested in the wake of an across-the-board protest by government employees against the way DA allowance was fixed.

The Fifth Pay Commission had recommended that the 50% DA payable in April 2004 be merged with basic pay. The dearness pay was to be counted as basic pay for all practical purposes, including for retirement benefit. Thus, logically, as on January 1, 2006, the recommended date of Sixth Pay Commission award, the 24% DA payable should have been on a salary that included the 50% DA that was merged with basic pay from April 2004.

In its calculation, however, instead of compounding the two DA components — 50% as on April 1, 2004 and 24% as on January 1, 2006 — the commission added them, yielding a figure of 74% composite DA. Consequently, while shifting to the concept of grade pay, the pay commission fixed the base salary as on January 1, 2006, at the basic pay drawn along with dearness allowance at the rate of 74%, and rounded it off to next multiple of 10. The anomaly resulted in a loss of roughly 7% to government employees.

To put it simply, if an employee had a basic salary of Rs 100 on April 1, 2004, according to the Fifth Pay Commission calculation, he would have a total salary of Rs 150 (including 50% DA). A 24% DA on that would increase his salary to Rs 186 — and not Rs 174 on January 1, 2006, used as the base for calculating Sixth Pay Commission award. The committee of secretaries is understood to have proposed that the anomaly be corrected and the DA be fixed at 86% and not 74%.

So, in case of a government employee in the Rs 2,550 pre-revised payscale, the revised pay in running pay band would become Rs 4,743 (increase of 86%) against Rs 4,440 (74% increase), a gain of over Rs 300. At the director level, in the payscale of Rs 18,300, the difference because of the change would be over Rs 2,000 a month.

source : The Economic Times

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Govt is safe and the pay commission implementation is going to be announced soon

The UPA Government scored an emphatic victory in the confidence vote in the Lok Sabha with a comfortable margin.

Now for government, it will be easy to implement the modified sixth pay commission as soon as possible.

It is expected that before 30 august pay commission report (modified) will be approved by the cabinet of government. There is no reason for delaying it further now.

It is sure that the proposal of 1% more annual increments to 20% higher performers among group A officers will not be accepted, as it will be very difficult to differentiate performing officers from non-performer.

It is unlikely to increase the retirement age to 62 year.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Govt may not agree on performance incentives

Performers in govt services may have to wait longer for getting incentives for their hard work. The Centre is unlikely to accept the 6th Pay Commission’s recommendations for providing better remuneration for high performers, sources close to the development told SundayET.

The high-level committee of secretaries, headed by cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, found it difficult to devise a modality to differentiate 20% higher performers among group A officers who could have qualified to get 1% more annual increments if the pay panel’s recommendation is accepted.

A member of the committee said: “There were discussion on the issue of performance-linked increments. But it’s not feasible in a month or two to draw up a modality which can differentiate performing officers from non-performers. So, I don’t think, we will accept that recommendation.” The 12-member committee, which has been reviewing the pay panel report, comprises of secretaries of home, defence, revenue, expenditure and the member secretary of railway board. The committee may sit for a couple of more meetings before it sends the final report for the Cabinet approval.

Significantly, the pay commission recommended that 80% or more employees of high ranked (pay band 3) group A officers should be given a normal annual increment of 2.5% whereas “high performers, not exceeding 20% during a year, should be allowed increments at a higher rate of 3.5%.” It suggested the idea of better increments for high-performing government employees after it received a detailed report from IIM-Ahmedabad.

Source The economic Times

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pay panel report stuck in political uncertainty

NEW DELHI: The government is not keen to announce the final shape in which recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission would be implemented before the political crisis that has gripped it is over.

Top government sources said only "final touches" remain to be given to the report of the committee of secretaries and it can be submitted to the Union Cabinet "any day".

But the government does not seem ready to announce it before next week, presuming that it sails through during the vote of confidence slated for July 22.

The committee headed by cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar was formed on the PM's orders after voices of protest surfaced from almost all quarters of the gigantic officialdom as well as police, paramilitary and defence forces, who were perhaps more vocal than the "civilian" staff. The pay panel submitted its report on March 24.

"The report has to go to the Cabinet for approval and it may ask for further clarifications. Most major meetings have been completed. The focus is now on getting all 10-12 secretaries together for a final round. We hope it will happen very soon," a source said. Earlier indications were that the review report would be ready by the first week of July and bulk of the task was actually completed within that time-frame. It is understood that a "fine tuning" exercise was also restarted as an afterthought.

Millions of government employees have been eagerly waiting for the implementation of the pay report, which top officials said was already "good news" in its original form. They indicated that there would be little changes for the "civilian" employees as the report has already recommended "decent salary hikes and an extremely satisfactory allowance system".

"Allowances were hiked by up to four times. A very realistic tuition and hostel allowance was introduced for the children of government servants," a source said, but indicated that there could be a change with regard to defence, police and paramilitary services.

The pay commission has proposed that the recommendations should be implemented with effect from January 1, 2006, and this would entail a huge cost to the exchequer. Given the current trends, sources said, the implementation of recommendations is also expected to contribute to the rising inflation. "The best policy for the government is definitely to wait and watch what shape the current political developments take. Obviously, speedy implementation would depend on the very survival of the government," they added.
Source :

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Army chief takes pay panel grievances to the President

NEW DELHI, JULY 16: In an unusual departure, Army chief General Deepak Kapoor has approached President Pratibha Patil with the grievances of the armed forces against the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, creating a flutter in Government circles.

While the Army claims that the grievances were put forward as part of a routine report, the move has not gone down well with the Government which is viewing it as questioning an issue that has not yet been resolved by the Cabinet.

The Army says the matter was brought up in a post-visit report presented to the President by the Army chief after her tour of Jammu and Kashmir that took place in May. But the report is being seen as involving the Supreme Commander in an issue which is being examined by the Committee of Secretaries.

The Army contends that the post-visit report is routine and several things, including the pay panel recommendations that were discussed during the visit, were included.

The Committee of Secretaries constituted to look into the matter is set to present its recommendation for a revision of the pay panel proposals to the Cabinet and has approved most demands put forward by the armed forces, including doubling the Military Service Pay (MSP) of soldiers to Rs 2,000 and increased allowances for Lt Generals posted at Army Headquarters.

Sources say that Defence Minister A K Antony will be pitching for an increase in pay over and above the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries when the matter is brought to the Cabinet. He is expected to push for an MSP of Rs 3,000 for soldiers, citing the hardships they face.

The Government has been uneasy with the vocal protests put up by the armed forces against the pay commission recommendations, especially after Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta wrote to the Defence Minister in May, saying that nothing was being done on the pay review and that the review panel had no representation from the armed forces.

The Prime Minister’s Office too had noted the continued public protests by ex-servicemen against the recommendations and had taken up the matter with the Defence Ministry. At least two former Army chiefs, Gen N C Vij and Gen V P Malik, had also written to the Prime Minister, asking him to intervene on behalf of the armed forces. This had prompted Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju to say in May that “it is unbecoming” of former soldiers to take to the streets to press for increased salaries.
Source : The Indian Express

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PM might step in on military pay hike

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might have to step in to ensure central government employees get what the Sixth Pay Commission promised them, that's because two key government departments are at loggerheads over the proposed pay hike.

Central government employees may have to wait a little longer to get an enhanced pay package. Differences between the finance and defence ministries over giving better salaries to the armed forces has delayed the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission's report.

Defence Minister AK Antony is now fighting a battle he perhaps never expected to, his opponents, babus in the finance ministry. Now Antony may be forced to call in the prime minister to get a pay hike for the armed forces.

The minister is pushing for a 15 per cent special allowance to all men in uniform plus a four per cent assured annual increment and an additional military service pay of Rs 2,000 for jawans.

But NDTV has learnt that the finance ministry is fiercely resisting these proposals, that will cost the government around Rs 4,000 crore annually.

The finance ministry argues that paying more to the armed forces will lead to other central employees demanding parity, this is likely to cost the government nearly Rs 12,000 crore extra.

But defence analysts argue this figure is nothing compared to the Rs 71,000 crore farm loan waiver announced by the government.

''There's no reason why the government cannot pay more to the forces since it doesn't cost the exchequer much. Otherwise, the resentment in the armed forces will only grow which is not good for the country,'' said Brigadier (retd) Gurmeet Kanwal, Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies.

The final decision now rests with the prime minister. If Dr Manmohan Singh does not intervene directly, the finance ministry is unlikely to agree to a better pay package proposed by the defence ministry for the three armed forces.
Source : NDTV.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

Govt fails to mollify armed forces over pay hike

Last-ditch attempts by the UPA government to mollify the fuming armed forces over the "paltry" hikes recommended for them by the 6th Pay Commission have failed to cut much ice.

Top sources say navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, in his capacity as the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee (CoSC), has now written to defence minister A K Antony, cabinet secretary K M Chandrashekar and defence secretary Vijay Singh that the armed forces "still have some misgivings on certain issues".

This despite the empowered committee of secretaries (CoS), headed by Chandrashekar, suggesting nearly 15% hike in salaries of armed forces personnel over what has been recommended by the pay commission, along with doubling of the proposed Rs 1,000 Military Service Pay (MSP) for soldiers to Rs 2,000 per month.

In his letter, after detailed discussions with army chief General Deepak Kapoor and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal F H Major in the CoSC, Admiral Mehta stressed that some "important course corrections" were needed to "raise the satisfaction level" of the armed forces, which could be done at "minimal cost to the exchequer".

It was on June 26 that Antony had held yet another meeting with the three Service chiefs to resolve the grievances of the armed forces. But it did not seem to have worked.

The MSP, which as per the pay commission allocates Rs 6,000 per month to officers up to Brigadiers and only Rs 1,000 to jawans, NCOs and JCOs, remains a major bone of contention. Admiral Mehta's letter says the CoSC was "given to understand", at the June 26 meeting, that the MSP arrears would be paid with effect from January 2006. "However, it is now understood that is not so," it says. The demands connected to MSP are that arrears should be paid from January 2006; it should be raised to Rs 3,000 for PBOR (personnel below officer-rank); it should count for increments; and that "notional MSP should count for pre-January 2006 retirees towards calculation of their pensions".

The other demands raised in the letter are a common pay scale for PBOR, fixation of officers' pay, implementation of the one-rank-one-pension principle, compensation in lieu of quarters for PBOR, and removal of anomalies pertaining to middle-rung officers like Lt-Colonels, Colonels and Brigadiers, among others. Interestingly, the CoSC has also expressed "serious reservations" about commissioned officers "being equated" with Military Nursing Service officers, holding that this will create "functional imbalances" in military hospitals and "impact" patient care.

With anger simmering in the rank and file of armed forces over pay commission, the three chiefs of course do not want to be accused of "a sell-out" by the men they command. In the end, however, there is grudging acceptance that once presented with a fait accompli by the government, the armed forces will have to like it or lump it. "We are a highly-disciplined force. We cannot take to the streets like our civilian counterparts. But, pay commission after pay commission, the forces always end up being short-changed by the bureaucracy," said a Colonel.

Holding that they need to be "better compensated" for the high risks and turbulence of service life, the forces want their 'running pay bands' delinked from their civilian counterparts due to their slower promotion rate and shorter service period as compared to the latter.

Source :

Official Submission of Review Committe may be on 20th July

A circular from the Confederation Of Central Government Employees hinted at the dates for the submission of the proposal by the CoS. It states “it is learnt that the proposal of the Committee of Secretaries on sixth pay commission is likely to be given to the Government by 20th of this month.” The circular also include the correspondence between confederation and the JCA.

The circular is available at

http://confederationhq.blogspot.com/2008/07/circular-no11.html

Friday, July 11, 2008

NEW PAY SCALE AS PER REVIEW COMMITTEE REPORT

According to some reliable sources, the revised pay commission report as revised by the review committee is as under. Annual increment suggested as 4% of the total pay in the pay band and the corresponding grade pay. Committee recommended a special 15% special pay for all military and para military personnel.

PRE REVISED

REVISED

OLD PAY SCALE

PAY BAND

GRADE PAY

TOTAL PAY

S1

2550-55-2660-60-3200

PB1

5500-16500

2500

8000

S2

2610-60-3150-65-3540

PB1

5500-16500

2500

8000

S2A

2610-60-3350-70-4000

PB1

5500-16500

2500

8000

S3

2650-65-3300-70-4000

PB1

5500-16500

2500

8000

S4

2750-70-3800-75-4400

PB1

5500-16500

2500

8000

S5

3050-75-3950-80-4590

PB2

6500-19500

3000

9500

S6

3200-85-4900

PB2

6500-19500

3250

9750

S7

4000-100-6000

PB3

7500-22500

4000

11500

S8

4500-125-7000

PB3

7500-22500

4000

11500

S9

5000-150-8000

PB3

7500-22500

4500

12000

S10

5500-175-9000

PB4

8500-25500

6000

14500

S11

6500-200-6900

PB5

9500-28500

6000

15500

S12

6500-200-10500

PB5

9500-28500

6000

15500

S13

7450-225-11500

PB5

9500-28500

6000

15500

S14

7500-250-12000

PB5

9500-28500

6000

15500

S15

8000-275-13500

PB6

15000-45000

7000

22000

S16

9000

PB6

15000-45000

7000

22000

S17

9000-275

PB6

15000-45000

7000

22000

S18

10325-325-10975

PB7

16000-48000

8000

24000

S19

10000-325-15200

PB7

16000-48000

8000

24000

S20

10650-325-15050

PB7

16000-48000

8000

24000

S21

12000-375-16500

PB8

17000-51000

9000

26000

S22

12250-375-16500

PB8

17000-51000

9000

26000

S23

14000-375-18000

PB8

17000-51000

9000

26000

S24

14300-400-18300

PB9

18000-54000

10000

28000

S25

15100-400-18300

PB9

18000-54000

10000

28000

S26

16400-450-20000

PB9

18000-54000

11000

29000

S27

16400-450-20900

PB9

18000-54000

11000

29000

S28

17300-450-22400

PB10

40000-60000

12000

52000

S29

18400-500-22400

PB10

40000-60000

12000

52000

S30

22400-525-24500

PB10

40000-60000

13000

53000

S31

22400-600-26000

PB10

40000-60000

15000

55000

S32

24050-650-26000

PB10

40000-60000

18000

58000

The Cabinet is scheduled to meet today and the revised report may be discussed there. Till now no official confirmation about the revised report by the review committee is available.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Govt to discuss pay report at next Cabinet meeting

With high-powered Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar handing over the Sixth Pay Commission report suggesting a few cosmetic changes, the government is now likely to consider it in the next meeting of the Union Cabinet.
Informing about this, a senior Union Cabinet minister on the condition of anonymity said, "In the next meeting of the Cabinet, the Pay Commission report would be discussed and hopefully a decision will be arrived at."
The CoS, even after reviewing the entire report and going through the grievances raised by various sections of the government employees, however failed to address all the concerns and instead it suggested hiving off the arrears by 18 months.
This means that instead of these to be computed from January 1, 2006, as suggested by the Pay Commission, the employees should get from July 1, 2007.
As per the report, a copy of which is with this newspaper, defence service personnel, paramilitary forces and other security personnel would, however, get flat increase of 15 per cent in their salary.
Interestingly, the report has also suggested increasing annual increment of four per cent of the basic and dearness allowance instead of 2.5.
Since there were widespread discontents among government employees with the original recommendations of the Pay Commission, the government had decided to constitute a high-powered CoS to review them.
The CoS, though looked into the demands of the armed forces for whom even defence minister A.K. Antony chipped in to persuade Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P. Chidambaram and suggested something to soothe them, the concerns of other sections of the government employees, including that of police service personnel and group B and C staff, have been ignored.
The Indian Police Service (IPS) personnel have consistently been lobbying to become at par with Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officials. But their demands have been ignored.
Similarly, the CoS tried to address the salary slab anomalies by reducing it to only 15 category instead of 25 originally suggested to meet the demands of the group-B&C employees.
Sources in the government said, "Hopefully, the Union Cabinet, when it takes up the matter, will refer it to a GoM, headed by a senior minister."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Govt. to make additional salary hikes ahead of polls in various states. Average of 40% hike expected.

The government employees just got bigger with a committee of bureaucrats set up to review the recommendations made earlier this year by the Sixth Pay Commission suggesting a Rs12,000 crore increase in a move that will likely buy the government some goodwill.
Pay commissions are set up to revise the salaries of Central government employees and the Sixth Pay Commission had asked for a payout of Rs30,621 crore this year (2008-09) including a raise of Rs12,561 crore—this will translate into an average salary hike of 40% for the 3.3 million employees of the Central government —and payment of arrears since January 2006. The new salaries came into effect from June.
The committee’s suggestion, shared with Mint by a government official familiar with the development who did not wish to be identified, translates into almost a 40% increase over the Rs30,621 crore. Of the additional Rs12,000 crore, half will go towards salary hikes and the rest towards arrears, and the biggest beneficiary of this proposed additional payment will be the Armed Forces that had expressed their disappointment with the initial recommendations of the pay commission which were submitted to the finance minister on 24 March.
The cabinet is expected to approve this raise in the next few weeks. The group that suggested the increase included representatives of the finance ministry and discussed the issue of salaries with employee organizations across government departments that had expressed their unhappiness with the initial recommendations. A government official, who asked not to be identified, said that the demands made by the Armed Forces, such as higher transportation allowances and improvement in the military service pay, have been addressed.
An officer in the railway ministry, who also did not wish to be identified, said his ministry had sought “relaxation of a norm which stipulated that matriculation would be a must for any government service”.
The railway ministry official said the department had told the group reviewing the pay commission’s recommendations that “there were many areas of work (artisans, carpenters and manual labourers)…where it would be difficult to find matriculates”. “We hope that the committee will take a favourable view,” added this officer. “The cabinet should take a decision on this (pay commission’s recommendation) very soon,” said another government official familiar with the developments who too did not wish to be identified.
The pay commission’s recommendation and the subsequent review are expected to earn the government the goodwill of government employees ahead of crucial polls to several states this year and to the Lok Sabha in 2009.
Source : Mint

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