Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chidambaram, the new home minister

Palaniappan Chidamabaram will be India's new home minister.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold additional charge as finance minister.

Chidambaram replaces Shivraj Patil, who resigned on Sunday, owning up responsibility for the Mumbai terror attacks.

Congress sources said Chidambaram is a man who can plan strategy and execute it in time of crisis. A Congress source told ,"We understand that India has the sympathy of the people and governments all over world."

Chidambaram was minister of state for internal security in the Rajiv Gandhi government, at the height of the Punjab crisis.

Dr Singh was finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government.

Haryana to implement sixth pay commission scales from Jan 2006

The Haryana Chief Minister  Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said that the revised pay scales according to the recommendations of sixth pay commission to all State Government employees would be implemented from January 2006. The State Government had already made a provision of Rs. 1500 crore in the annual budget
this financial year.

 The Chief Minister while replying the questions of Media Persons at Rohtak said that a committee had been formed under the Chairmanship of Haryana Chief Secretary to look into the matter and to decide the revised pay scales as per the recommendations of sixth pay commission.

He said that the committee had received about 225 suggestions from different departments about the revision in the pay scales. For the transparency in the fixation of pay scales the committee had given personal hearing to all the request and suggestions. He assured that the new pay scales would be satisfactory and justifiable to each and every category of employees.

Hooda said that "employees are the back bone of the administration set up and the present Congress Government is well-wisher of the employees". He said that almost all the retrenched employees by the previous Government had been merged in the various departments by this Government only. They had also been given relaxation to appear again in the departmental examinations.      

He said that keeping in view the interest of the employees the Government had made the ex-gratia scheme more effective for their dependents. This scheme would provide financial security besides giving social security to the employees. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Uttar Pradesh Cabinet nod to recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission

Big buck awaits the state Govt. employees with the state cabinet formally endorsing the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission on Thursday.

Chief Minister Mayawati said the cabinet accepted the report of the pay parity committee set up in August. The new pay scale, which would benefit nearly 18 lakh state employees, will be applicable from December 1.

The revision of the pay scales — dearness allowance (DA) and pension — will cost the state exchequer an annual recurring burden of Rs 4,674 crore. The pay scale will come in force with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006. The arrears of salary, DA and pension will be paid in three instalments in the next three years. The total burden on account of the arrears is Rs 13,662 crore.

Twenty per cent of the arrears will be paid in cash during the current fiscal 2008-09. The remaining 80 per cent will be deposited in the provident fund account of the employees in two equal instalments in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The arrears of the pensioners will be paid during the current fiscal. Mayawati said that the state government had decided to pay the house rent allowance as recommended by the Sixth Pay panel.

This is the first time the government has also decided to pay compensatory allowance to the employees posted in cities with a population of 1 lakh and above.

In order to meet the additional burden on the exchequer, the chief minister has taken several measures, which includes a curb on the budgetary provisions of Rs 1,115 crore to the various departments. Besides, the purchase of new vehicles by all government departments will be banned. All departments have been asked to reduce the size of their fleet of vehicles by five per cent by the next financial year. The chief minister said the compensation for death on duty has been raised to Rs 10 lakh, while the compensation for death in terrorists or extremist attacks would be Rs 15 lakh.

Source : Indian Express

Three cheers: Judges get 300% pay hike

Judges in the supreme court and high courts will now draw salaries almost three times higher than their present levels. The hike, approved by the union cabinet this week, comes in the wake of an increase in salary for central government employees in line with the sixth pay commission recommendations. 

The chief justice of India, whose existing salary is Rs 33,000 plus allowances, will now draw a monthly salary of Rs 1 lakh plus dearness allowance (DA). Other judges in the apex court will have a monthly pay package of Rs 90,000 plus allowances. Under the revised scale, judges in the state high courts will get a salary of Rs 80,000 plus DA. Chief justices of the high courts will enjoy the same salary as the supreme court judges. 

The revised pay package will be effective from January 2006. While 40% of the arrears of the salary will be given in the current financial year, the balance 60% would be paid in the next fiscal. The government has also decided to double the existing limit of both sumptuary allowance and furnishing allowance for all supreme court and high court judges, with effect from September 2008. 

The revised salaries for the judges were recommended by a three-judge committee. The recommendations became a matter of debate within the government factions with the finance ministry initially objecting to the law ministry’s suggestion to bring such a sharp hike in the salaries of judges, a government source said. 

The committee, which comprised Justices Ashok Bhan (now retired) and Altamas Kabir of the Supreme Court and Madras High Court Chief Justice (CJ) AP Shah, had proposed that the CJI’s monthly salary be raised from the present Rs 33,000 excluding allowances to Rs 1.10 lakh while that of the other apex court judges and CJs of high courts be hiked to Rs 1 lakh from the present Rs 30,000 excluding allowances. With the cabinet reaching a decision on the issue, a Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament as salaries of higher judiciary are governed by an Act of Parliament.
Source Economic Times

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pay parity for armed forces a difficult task: Govt

With the armed forces insisting on a pay hike, the government has said it is “very difficult” to maintain a balance in salaries of government servants doing varied jobs.“It is a very difficult exercise. Because it is not just a question of ensuring that people get better salaries. It is also a question of parities…. balances,” Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar said in an interview.

He was responding to a question on what steps the government was contemplating in view of the armed forces’ demand for pay parity.

Chandrasekhar said issues become more complicated when people start feeling that they are being discriminated against by the Pay Commission recommendations.

“It is very difficult when people feel that this chap has got more than me…that feeling is there. So, to maintain that kind of balance…. it is very difficult,” he said.

The Cabinet Secretary said the ministerial committee headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had held both Defence and Finance portfolios earlier, was working on to find out a solution to the demands of the defence forces.

The armed forces have recently strongly conveyed to the government that there should be “no dilution” on their demands for pay parity.

This comes in the wake of reports that the government was trying to find a “middle path” to break the deadlock over the armed forces’ demands that included placing Army Lieutenant Colonels and their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force in Pay Band-4.

The Cabinet Secretary said when the armed forces raised the issue of pay parity, the Committee of Secretaries took up it immediately and deliberated on how to find a solution to it for the satisfaction of the defence personnel.

“When the armed forces raised the issue, we sat together at the official level with Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister (P M Nair) and decided that the best thing would be to request the higher level.

So we requested the External Affairs Minister because he was both Defence and Finance Minister earlier and could consult Defence Minister and Finance Minister and give his views,” he said.

Chandrasekhar said a “large majority” of government officials, including the Group C and Group D employees, accepted the Pay Commission recommendations and were “more or less satisfied“.

“I do not have too many complaints and whatever complaints are there, we have created a mechanism. We got the anomaly committee, we got a fast track committee to look into those issues,” he said.

Highlighting the difficult task carried out by the 6th Pay Commission while framing the recommendations, Chandrasekhar said they had to make a huge change in the structure.

“See normally we used to get pay scales. Here we have gone away from pay scales to the Pay Band structure, which is entirely different structure. So, to maintain the parity was pretty difficult. But still I think we did a pretty good job,” he said.

J & K employees’ strike on Dec 2

State employees, who are miffed at, what they call, government’s dilly–dallying tactics to implement the sixth central pay commission recommendations in respect of state employees even after obtaining clearance from the chief election commission of India, are observing strike on December 2, as a protest against it.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC)—an amalgam of EJAC(Q), EJAC (A), KAS Officers’ Association and Secretariat Non-Gazetted Employees’ Union. The leaders and representatives of its constituent units were present at the meeting.
“The government has constituted a pay committee to work out modalities for implementation of sixth pay commission recommendations, though it was already in place. We are not against it because modalities are to be worked out. But government has to issue formal orders as to when it is going to implement the recommendations. It has only given a verbal assurance that recommendations will be implemented after two months. Let it be after two months but the government should come out with a formal order mentioning specific date,” said the JCC spokesman and EJAC (A) president Khursheed Alam, while talking to Greater Kashmir.
On other demands, Alam said despite agreeing in principle the genuineness of the demands like enhancement of retirement age to 60 years, five-day week, and regularization of temporary employees and uniform wage structure of Rs 5000 per month and removal discrimination between IFS, IPS and local services, the government was not formally issuing any orders on these demands either. “The negotiations have failed to yield any result. We have no alternative but to launch a statewide agitation to press for the fulfillment of the employees demands,” he said.
Another JCC spokesman and EJAC (Q) president Abdul Qayoom Wani said, “The formation of pay committee by the government but a gimmick to buy time. Otherwise it had already been constituted a month ago. We are not against the formation committee but the government can implement new pay scales recommended in the sixth pay commission even right now in respect of all government and private sector employees and leave matter of arrears to the Committee to work out modalities. But the government is dithering on all issues and seems quite indifferent, compelling us to take recourse agitation.”
Qayoom warned that the JCC would announce its phase of struggle on December 2, only if the government failed to fulfill all the demands by then. “And it will be decisive phase of struggle,” he said,
The government yesterday constituted a six-member committee headed by financial commissioner, planning and development department, S L Bhat to work out modalities for the implementation of the recommendations of central pay commission in respect of the state government employees after it obtained clearance from the election commission of India through the chief electoral officer, Jammu and Kashmir.
The six-member pay committee comprises besides chairman, the administrative secretaries of home, finance ,GAD and law department as members while as the director codes, finance department, is the member secretary.

Supplementary budget in Orissa to implement pay panel report

Orissa finance minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei on Wednesday presented a supplementary budget of Rs 7587.69 crore for fiscal 2008-09, clearly indicating that the state government is soon going to implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations for state government employees.

Ghadei provided Rs 2255.36 crore in the budget to meet possible pay hike expenses even though the fitment committee constituted by the state government is yet to give its report. Provisions were made to increase the Orissa Disaster Management Fund to Rs 400 crore from Rs 150 crore. The budget provided Rs 499 crore to subsidise the Rs 2 a kilogram of rice programme.

The finance minister provided Rs 56.34 crore for revival of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). The government of India, Gramya Bank and the state government are required to share the recapitalisation burden at 50:35:15 ratio. As on 31.03.2007, all three RRBs–Utkal Gramya Bank, Kalinga Gramya Bank, and Baitarini Gramya Bank–were running losses. Meanwhile, the last bank has started making profits.

The minister said the government is expecting additional resources of Rs 3000 crore, which includes Rs 994 crore from central taxes and Rs 500 crore from its own taxes and non-taxes.



Source : The Financial Express

Monday, November 24, 2008

FinMin objects to judges' pay hike plan

The plan of the higher judiciary for a three-fold-plus hike in salaries of members of the higher judiciary has not found favour with the Union Finance Ministry.

According to sources in the Finance Ministry, it has recommended a cut in the salary structure proposed by a three-judge committee constituted by the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

Since the Finance Ministry’s stand is at variance with recommendations of the Union Law Ministry, the matter is likely to be taken up by the Union Cabinet in its meeting on Thursday to resolve the issue.

Once the Cabinet takes a call on the issue, a Bill would be introduced in Parliament as salaries of higher judiciary are governed by an Act of Parliament. The 'Indian Express' had first published the report about the demand by the judiciary for a three-fold-plus hike in salaries.

The committee, which comprised Justices Ashok Bhan (now retired) and Altamas Kabir of the Supreme Court and Madras High Court Chief Justice (CJ) A P Shah, had proposed that the CJI’s monthly salary be raised from the present Rs 33,000 to Rs 1.10 lakh while that of his brother-judges and CJs of High Courts be hiked to Rs 1 lakh from the present 30,000.

As per the proposal, sitting judges of various High Courts were to receive Rs 90,000 per month as against Rs 26,000 that they get now.

Sources said the proposal, if accepted, would have placed the CJI at par with Governors while SC judges and HC CJs would have been placed at par with the Cabinet Secretary.

As for the sitting judges of various HCs, the Finance Ministry’s proposal wants to place them in the same category as secretary-level officers of the Government of India.

The three-judge committee had also recommended a sharp hike in post-retirement benefits of judges. It has recommended that the CJI receive a consolidated salary of Rs 1 lakh per month, which is still more than what the Cabinet Secretary is to receive following the implementation of the sixth pay panel report.

The ministry has suggested that the salaries of the SC judges and HC CJs be also pared down to bring them at par with what the Cabinet Secretary of the Government of India is entitled to under the Sixth Pay Commission. Similarly, the salary of a sitting judge of the HC has also been recommended to be cut to bring it down to Rs 80,000 per month.

On the issue of sumptuary allowance, while the judges’ panel had recommended a one-third hike, the ministry wants status quo. In case of furnishing allowances, while judges had sought a three-fold hike, the Finance Ministry has recommended only a two-fold hike.

With regard to pensionary benefits, while the judges’ panel wanted 50 per cent of the last salary drawn plus dearness allowance (DA), the Finance Ministry has advised that the length of service be taken into consideration while deciding the pension, something that the judges’ committee did not want. The ministry has also sought a limit of Rs 6 lakh per annum pension plus DA for CJI, while the limit is Rs 5.4 lakh per annum for SC judges and HC CJs and Rs 4.8 lakh for HC judges.

Since the revised pay structure would be applicable from January 1, 2006 and effective from September 1, 2008, the Law Ministry has estimated an additional expenditure of Rs 46 crore, which includes Rs 4 crore recurring expenditure per annum and Rs 42 crore as arrears. The judges’ panel had said 40 per cent of the arrears be paid in the current year while the remaining 60 per cent be paid the next year.

Source : Express India.

CBDT, CBEC members given special secretary rank

The government today upgraded the posts of members of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to the level of special secretary. They will be entitled to a fixed monthly salary of Rs 80,000, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan told reporters here after a Cabinet meeting.

After the Sixth Pay Commission awards this year, the members held the rank of additional secretary with a pay scale of Rs 75,000-80,000. The Indian Revenue Service Association had expressed its anguish at the decision of the government to ignore specific positive recommendations of the commission to address the legitimate aspirations of the service and to upgrade the pay scale of members to Rs 80,000 (fixed).

The CBDT is responsible for collection of direct taxes including income tax and corporate tax, while the CBEC collects customs, central excise and service tax.

Apart from chairman, there are six members in the CBDT and five members in CBEC


Source : Business Standard

Cabinet approves pay revision for central public sector enterprises

The cabinet on Thursday approved the recommendations of the second Pay Revision Committee for central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) but there will be no additional cost to the government as the enterprises will bear the cost, a minister said.

"There will be no additional cost to the government as the enterprises will bear the additional cost from their internal resources," Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Prithviraj Chavan said.

"It is for this reason that I cannot tell you what the additional expenditure will be," he said in reply to a question while briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"The revised pay scales would be implemented by the issue of a separate Presidential Directive in respect of each CPSE by the concerned administrative ministry or department," Chavan said.

While the revised pay scales will be effective Jan 1, 2007, the payment of house rent allowance, perks and allowances based on the revised scales will be from the date of issue of the Presidential Directives, he added.

The Pay Revision Committee had been established as CPSE employees were not covered by the Sixth Pay Commission that earlier this year recommended increased pay and allowances for government servants.

Source : The Hindu

Monday, November 17, 2008

Teacher's dharna on Nov 24 in Orissa

BHUBANESWAR: Teachers and employees of non-government colleges of the State have decided to stage a sitin dharna in front of the Raj Bhawan on November 24 to press for their demands.

Under the banner of All Orissa Non-Government College Teachers and Employees Association, the members met at its 6th annual conference at Rourkela where they discussed the long-pending demands like release of grant-in-aid to teachers and employees appointed before December 31, 1998 instead of 40 per cent block grant, promotion of State scale lecturers, extension of the UGC benefits, implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.

Besides, the disussion featured action to make the Higher Education Department corruption- free.

Association general secretary Chitta Mohapatra said the Government must meet these demands or a Statewide agitation would be launched. In the first phase, the sit-in dharna has been proposed in front of Raj Bhawan and a memorandum would be submitted to the Governor.

Source : Express News.

Government Clarifies : No change in retirement age

The Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar today informed that there is no plans to revise the retirement age for Central Government employees. After the sixth pay commission implementation, employees were hoping for the rise in pension age, as doing so can reduce the burden of the additional payment to some extend. However the government decided other stopping all the rumours associated.

Shri. K. M. Chandrasekhar  clarified that the government has no intentions in changing the retirement age and the current system will be followed.

"I tried to find out. But there is no file in (Department of) Expenditure, no file in DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training). There is nothing. It is more of a wishful thinking," he said in an interview.

At present the retirement age for the Central Government employees is 60.

He also added that there is no plans to unify the retirement age of the state government staff across the states.

"The states will decide their own retirement age," he said. All states have their own retirement age - starting from 55 years (Kerala) to 60 years (Uttar Pradesh, Assam etc). The Madhya Pradesh government teachers retire at the age of 62 years.

Source : Economic Times.

RBI faces staff agitation over cut in pension payout

The Apex bank decided to reduce monthly payments by Rs 700 to 5000 for 8000 former employees.

The country’s central bank, which has been busy tackling the fallout of a liquidity crunch as well as impact of high inflation all across India, has another critical problem on hand.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with 22,000 employees, which likely makes it the No. 1 central bank in terms of staff, is facing staff wrath over management’s decision to reduce monthly pension payouts for around 8,000 employees by between Rs700 and Rs5,000 per retiree. These employees had retired before 1997.
RBI did the reduction by revoking a 2003 circular.
The bank’s decision comes against the backdrop of India’s still high inflation as well as the Sixth Pay Commission’s revision of both salaries and retirement benefits of most Union government employees, note those who are opposing the move.
The 2003 circular, prepared when Bimal Jalan was the governor, had promised that all RBI employees who retired before November 1997 would be eligible for upward revision of their pension benefits.
This meant that the monthly pension drawn by these employees would automatically go up with the wage revisions of the central bank’s existing employees.
For instance, someone who retired as a chief general manger would get the pension benefit to the extent an existing chief general manager’s salary is revised. RBI revises salaries every five years.
The note was revoked at the 14 August board meeting, the last meeting held by then RBI governor Y.V. Reddy. The revocation was made official on 10 October after D. Subbarao took over as governor.
“My monthly pension has come down by Rs728,” said one person who retired from RBI in 1993 as deputy general manager, but didn’t want to be named.
“The quantum of decrease depends on when they retired, their rank and the last-drawn salary,” said a senior member of the All India Reserve Bank Employees’ Association who also insisted he would rather not be named.
This body and the other three employee and officer associations of RBI, under the umbrella of United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees (UFRBOE), are the ones from within RBI battling the revocation.
Adding to pressure from the outside is the All India Reserve Bank Retired Employees’ Association.
“That governor Reddy passed a resolution on this matter in his last meeting is a betrayal of trust. Now he doesn’t have to face us,” said T.G. Nair, its general secretary who said the association had been urging the governor since August 2006, when the Union government had proposed the revocation, to keep it in abeyance.
RBI employees have their own superannuation fund to which RBI contributes 10% on employees’ behalf. Until 1990, RBI employees were enjoying two retirement benefits: gratuity and provident fund. At that point, the central bank offered to contribute 10% of a employee’s basic pay towards an pension scheme instead of contributing to the provident fund.
Unlike other government pensioners, RBI retirees’ pensions are not paid out of the government’s coffers.
The current employees are fighting for those who had retired before 1997 because they feel that if it can be done for the old employees, they will not be spared in the future.
All RBI employees went on a mass one-day leave on 21 October.
In an escalation, their associations have now called for another two days of mass leave, on 1 and 2 December.
A spokesperson for RBI declined to comment on the issue.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

5 lakh employees of J&K announce Mass Unity Day on November 20

JCC demands 6th Pay Commission, resents service discrimination

Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) of all Gazetted and Non-Gazetted Employees of J&K State has decided to observe Mass Unity Day on November 20 by observing strike to impress upon the government to concede the genuine demands of the employees including the implementation of Sixth Pay Commission in the state. 

As per release, the JCC has held a meeting with the Governor N N Vohra who has assured them to look into their grievances on account of retirement age between different services etc and steps for implementation of 6th Pay Commission. 

The release further adds that the JCC has decided to observe complete one-day strike in all departments in all three regions of J&K State viz Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh but has decided to exempt hospitals from the proposed strike. 

The JCC has further claimed to have the support of KAS Officers Association on the issue of proposed strike.

Source : News Agency of Kashmir

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clarification regarding Children Educational Allowance as per sixth pay commission.

Subsequent to issue of DOP&T OM No. 12011/3/2008-Estt.(Allowance) dated 2nd Sept, 2008 allowing Children Education Allowance 1 Hostel Subsidy ,
clarifications on certain points have been sought by Govt. servants/Ministries/Departments. The doubts raised by various authorities are clarified as under :

(1) What is the definition of ' Year' & 'Hostel Subsidy' as per the OM No. 12011/3/2008-Estt.(Allowance) dt. 2nd Sept, 2008 on the subject Children Education Allowance?

(i) 'Year' means academic year i.e. twelve months of complete academic session.
(ii) Hostel Subsidy means expenses incurred by the Govt. servant if he has to keep his children in the hostel of a residential school away from the station at which he is posted! or is residing. It may include expenses towards boarding, lodging and expenses as detailed in para (e) of the original OM No. 12011/3/2008-Estt.(Allowance)dt. 2nd Sept, 2008


(2) What IS the amount of reimbursement of Children Education Allowance for the year 2008-09 in the OM No. 12011/3/2008- Estt.(AL) dt. 2nd Sept, 2008?
It may be calculated on prorata basis @ maximum of Rs.I000-per month per child w.e.f. 1st September, 2008.

(3) Whether DOPT OM No. 12011/3/2008-Estt.(Allowance) dated 2nd Sept, 2008 is admissible for reimbursement of Children Education Allowance for pursumg Diploma Course for the initial years in Polytechnic?
In cases where minimum qualifications for admission in the two years Diploma course in Polytechnic is 10th Class and the student joins the polytechnic after passing X class, the reimbursement of tuition fees shall also be allowed for the 1st and 2nd year classes of the above course.

(4) Whether children attending dayboarding, whether attached to schools or not are eligible to draw hostel subsidy?
No. They are not eligible.

(5) Whether the restriction of classes Nursery to class Twelfth as applicable for Children Education Allowance is also applicable for drawing hostel subsidy?
YES. 

(6) Whether Children Education allowance is admissible for more than two children in case the number of children exceeds two as a result of multiple birth?
Yes, if the number of children exceeds two as a result of second child birth resulting in twins or multiple births.

(7) Whether Children Education Allowance 1 Hostel Subsidy will be admissible during suspension or leave?
The Children Education Allowance or hostel subsidy shall be admissible to a Govt. servant while he/she is on duty or is under suspension or is on leave (including extra ordinary leave). Provided that during any period which is treated as 'dies non' the Govt. servant shall not be eligible for the Allowance / reimbursement / subsidy for the period.

(8) Whether reimbursement of Children Education Allowance as per OM No. 12011/4/2008- Estt.(AL) dt. 11th Sept, 2008 is admissible for disabled Children of Govt. employees who undergoes non formal Education or Vocational Training or other similar instructions?
Yes. As long as a physically Imentally handicapped child studies in any institution i.e. aided or approved by the Centrall State Govt. or UT Administration or whose fees are approved by any of these authorities, the Children Education Allowance paid by the Govt. servant shall be reimbursed irrespective of whether the institution is 'recognized' or not. In such cases the benefits will be admissible between the age limits 5to 22 years.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

IT employees may increase agitation, even proceed to strike, if demands are not met.

The Central JCA which met at New Delhi on 2ndNovember 2008, to review the  response of the Board to the representations made by it to settle the charter of demands came to the conclusion that the Board has not made any attempt to negotiate and settle issues. The meeting also noted with dismay that the despite the notification issued by the Govt on 29.8.2008 in respect of Inspectors, AO Grade III, PS and DPA Group B the Grade Pay has not been raised to Rs.4600. The meeting took serious note of the fact that while passing the order no 141, promoting ITOs as ACsIT the agreed understanding of retaining the promotee officers in the same station whose children are studying in 10th and 12thStandard, working spouse ground and to post them as per the options exercised by them has not been followed. It is surprising that a new concept of obtaining vigilance clearance before allowing officers to assume charge as ACIT has been introduced without any valid reasoning.

 

 

          The meeting therefore  has decided to intensify the agitational programme in the following manner in the face of the stubborn attitude of the Board:

 

1.                The members of the JCA will continue to abide by the earlier decision on agitational programme.

 

2.                Members of JCA will not organize or participate in search and seizure action  u/s 132 and Survey u/s 133A.

 

3.                In case the demands are not settled including the modification of transfer orders and upgradation of Grade pay of Inspectors, AO Grade III, PS and DPA Group B immediately, the JCA will be constrained to call upon its members to organize a strike action besides continuing the ongoing agitational programmes.

         


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rebellion brews in I-T, customs departments over pay anomalies

At a time when the government is facing an economic downslide with lower or negative tax collection it is facing serious unrest in the ranks of departments assigned the job of mopping up resources with thousands of customs, central excise and income tax officials being up in arms against anomalies in their pay scales and bleak promotional avenues. 

Thousands of customs officials struck work on Tuesday and took to the streets against the delay in their promotions, in what can set back government's already difficult task to realise the revenue target. 

Customs and central excise officials from across the country gathered at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Tuesday, to march up to barricades raised at Parliament Street police station. 

The protest comes even as income tax officials, another revenue gathering arm, have already resorted to a `go slow' to insist on removal of pay anomalies and for better prospects of promotion. 

There has been no official announcement yet. But officials of the income tax dept, sources say, have been dragging their feet on the surveys that are crucial for detecting tax evasions and tax collection. 

Sources said all field formations of income tax have stopped sending Central Action Plan (CAP) dossiers since August to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). 

The CAP is a vital report generated on a monthly basis that gives a summary of scrutiny assessments, demands raised and collected, arrears collection and manpower deployment, besides helping in collection of data for micro-management of the economy. 

Sources said revenue secretary P V Bhide has called a meeting of all 18 chief commissioners of I-T at North Block on Wednesday to deliberate on the slowdown in the tax collection. With a few CBDT members having already raised the issue of discontentment in the rank and file over the pay anomalies and its impact on the tax mop up, the revenue department boss is likely to address the matter. 

The discontentment over the `alleged' raw deal from the 6th pay commission is not only restricted to the IRS cadre officers, but spread even to the ranks of inspectors, superintendents and promotee assistant commissioners who feel they have been ignored. The lower rungs feel discriminated even from their top bosses in the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and CBDT. 

Ravi Malik, an office-bearer of the All-India Association of Central Excise Officers which organised the protest march, alleged that the higher-ups in the CBEC had deliberately delayed promotions for superintendents and others eligible to be promoted in Group A. "Even when promotions are granted, they are in the Junior Group A level and many of those promoted remain without a posting for a long time," he said.
Source : The Times of India.

No hike, so pvt hospital doctors strike work

The resident doctors at three of Max Healthcare hospitals two in Saket and one in Patparganj went on strike on Tuesday demanding a hike in salary. The issue caught fire after the Max management allegedly refused to hike the salaries of resident doctors and asked for more time. The resident doctors in private hospitals are unhappy as their counterparts in government hospitals are getting nearly 30-40% more than them after the sixth Pay Commission. Joining the Max protest were doctors from Batra hospital, who wore black badges as a mark of protest and have given the management two days time to decide. 

"Disparity in pay has been there for long but we didn't make it an issue. But with the sixth Pay Commission being implemented, the gulf has become wider. There is nearly 30-40% difference in salaries," said a resident doctor at Max Healthcare. The resident doctors say that they had approached the management long back, but "this strike is a result of management's inaction followed by their decision to not increase salaries. All we are asking is put us on a par with government hospital doctors," said another senior doctor at Max. 

According to Pervez Ahmed, executive medical director, Max Healthcare, "We have got mass leave applications, which have not been accepted. We are hopeful that a majority of doctors would return to work by Wednesday and in case they don't, action would be taken against them. As far as the salary issue is concerned, we are paying our senior residents doing or completed specialization more than what is given to doctors at government hospitals." 

Doctors at a majority of leading private hospitals in Delhi claim to be facing the same problem. At Indraprastha Apollo, doctors claim the conditions are 'really bad'. "The junior and senior doctors here are grossly underpaid. It is in fact less than what resident doctors get at other private hospitals. The consultants' forum at Apollo had taken up the salary issue of resident doctors with the management but nothing was done. It all fell on deaf ears," 

said a senior consultant with Indraprastha Apollo on condition of anonymity. Sources at Apollo hospital say that resident doctors had put up posters to boycott the Apollo Day celebration held in October. 

However, Apollo hospital denied these claims and their official statement read: "We have discussed it with the junior medical staff and are examining the matter closely." But doctors say that this doesn't solve their problem. 

The condition is the same at Batra hospital, where resident doctors have given two days notice to the management to take a decision or face strike. "A senior resident in government hospital gets somewhere between Rs 55,000 to Rs 58,000, but we get just Rs 38,000-Rs 40,000. The junior residents are even more poorly paid. There should be some parity," said a senior resident from Batra hospital. 

According to Dr Sanjeev Bagai, medical director Rockland hospital, "Financial implications are important, but resident doctors should focus on their career than on money. These three years are important and doctors should make the best out of it. We all know that doctors earn a lot as consultants. One can't equate medical profession with any other profession. Moreover, these doctors have signed the contract that means nobody forced them to join and it is out of free will."
Source : The Times of India.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pay review committee for IIT, IIM faculty

The faculty members of central technical institutions like IITs and IIMs can hope for a better pay package soon with the government setting up a committee for review of their salary and emoluments. 

The committee is headed by former director of Indian Institute of Sciences,Bangalore Prof Govardhan Mehta. 

"The committee will make a comprehensive study of the 6th pay commission recommendations. It will speak to the faculty members of the IITs, IIMs, IIITs and NITs and consider their vews and recommend an ideal pay package for the faculty members in these institutions," a senior official in HRD Ministry said. 

The committee has been given three months time to complete the report, so that the government could implement it before the general elections. The committee will look into the recommendations of Prof G K Chadha committee, which has been set up to recommend pay structure of university teachers. 

The Chadha committee is expected to submit its report to the University Grants Commission next week. "The committee will have to address the major issue of retention of teachers and attracting more scholars to join teaching and research at these premier institutes," the official said. 

The committee is set up at a time when the government has decided to expand the technical educational institutions in a big way. The government has decided to set up eight IITs, seven IIMs, 20 IIITs and six NITs across the country. 

Some of these institutions have already started functioning from this year.
Source : PTI

Civic staff in Pondycherry gets salary hike

All categories of staff and workers in the municipalities and commune panchayats in the Union Territory of Puducherry have been sanctioned increased salaries in keeping with the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

This was announced by Local Administration Minister A Namassivayam after a meeting with representatives of employees associations at his chamber here today.

Addressing presspersons, Namassivayam said that the government had decided to extend the benefit of the hike in wages to the staff and workers of all the five municipal councils and ten commune panchayats in the Union Territory.

A little over 2300 staff from sanitary wokers to executive engineers would be benefitted by the increase in wages. The new pay scale would be implemented retrospectively from January 2006 as prescribed by the Pay commission.

Namassivayam said that while the payment of arrears would mean an expenditure of Rs 9.79 crores for the municipalities the commune panchayats would have to disburse (arrears of pay) Rs 3.58 crores. The arrears related to 32 months from January 2006 to August this year.

The minister said that the government had received the report of the Finance Commission to mop up the funds for the municipal bodies. Asked if there would be a drive to collect property tax wherever it was due he said such measures would be launched and care would be taken that there was no harassment or hardship to the taxpayers at any stage.

He conceded that there was a virtual burden for civic bodies to bear the expenditure arising out of the new pay scales. `Chief Minister V Vaithilingam has assured to come to the help of the municipal administration with sufficient funds`, Namassivayam said.

Director of Local Administration Department E Vallavan, Chairperson of Municipal council Dr B.Sridevi, the secretrary of the Confederation of government employees associations R.Anandarajan, the secretary of central federation of employees associations P.Lakshmanaswamy, the AITUC leader V S Abishegam and a few other leaders of workers unions were also present.

Namassivayam said that the report of the Finance Commission would be perused and placed before the cabinet for its approval and for steps to implement its recommendations.

Source : Chennaionline.com

West Bengal Govt employees may get fatter pay w.e.f. 1st April next year.

The West Bengal State Govt employees may get their enhanced salary with effect from 1st April next year. Sri Asim Dasgupta, Finance Minister of the state has said this in a function in 24Pgs (N) district. Mr Shyamal Dutta, a member of the state pay commission, was also present in the meeting. The minister asked him to arrrange to submit the report well in advance to enable the Govt to implement it from the begining of the next Financial year. Mr Dasgupta critisized the central pay commission report about discrimination and condemned the abolition of Group 'D' posts. He assured that no such things will be in the state govt appointed commission. 

According to sources it will be very difficult for the commission to submit it's report in such a short time, but possibilities are there that they submit a interim report in this time and Govt will act upon it. 

Assuming the loksabha election in May next year, it will certainly give a milage to the left front if they can implement it with effect from 01.04.2009.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Manipur employees threaten ceasework

Manipur government employees will go on strike later this month to support the demand to implement the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

The employees are at present sporting black badges as part of their campaign to pressure the government into implementing the hiked pay rates. They have been wearing black badges since November 6.

“The black badge campaign will continue up to November 12. From the next day we will apply work-to-rule up to November 19,” Priyobrata Singh, the publicity secretary of the Joint Administrative Council of the employees’ unions, said today.

The employees will then launch a pen down strike from November 20 to 26.

An indefinite ceasework will follow from November 27.

“We do not want to launch any agitation as the situation in the state is bad. But we are compelled to do so as the government is indifferent to our demands,” the secretary said.

He, however, said the employees would call off the agitation if the government responded positively.

So far, there has been no response from the government.

The employees said the central government employees were paid according to the revised payscales.

“We are suffering and the government must come to our rescue,” they said.

The All Manipur State Employees Council, another organisation of government employees, submitted a memorandum to chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh yesterday, demanding an increased in the minimum wage of skilled workers from the current Rs 150 to Rs 180.

Source : The Telegraph.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Army's anger - why ? Read it out.

As many as 584 officers from the Army have sought pre-mature retirement from services since March this year but the Government said it was not due to resentment over the sixth pay commission recommendations.

No officer of navy, air force has sought pre-mature retirement on the ground of dissatisfaction with the Six Central Pay Commission report. However, in the Army, since March 2008, a total number of 584 officers have applied for premature retirement/resignation,” Defence Minister A K Antony said replying to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Antony said the officials seek retirement on the “ground of non-empanelment, compassionate ground, low medical category, failure to acquire minimum technical qualification and better employment in civil life”.

“From this, it cannot be ascertained that they have sought an exit due to resentment against the Sixth Pay Commission Report,” he said.

The Defence Services, led by their Chiefs, have refused to implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, alleging that their status and honour were compromised.

Antony, while replying to a question by BJP’s V K Malhotra and Santosh Gangwar, said the Services had submitted a detailed representation to the Government brining out certain issues arising out of the Sixth Pay Commission report.

“The Government has reached a decision on most of the issues,” he said adding that a few more subsequent issues have been raised by the Services namely grant of higher grade pay to Service officers, placement of Lt-Col and equivalents in Pay Band 4 and reinstatement of pensionary weightages for Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR).

The Centre on September 25 set up a committee headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee with Antony and Finance Minister P Chidambaram as members to look into the grievances of the armed forces.

The Government has decided that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will look into the issues raised by the Services and give recommendations in consultation with the Defence Minister and Finance Minister,Antony said.

After the government notification was issued on August 29, issues of “anomalies” in the pay for officers were first raised by Air chief Fali Homi Major in his letter in his capacity as acting Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Chiefs of Navy and Army too have voiced their resentment in letters to the government.

The armed forces are demanding that the government place Lieutenant-Colonels and their equivalents in Pay Band-4, ensure parity in Grade Pay of officers from Captains to Brigadiers with their civilian counterparts, accord the Higher Administrative Grade Plus status in pay scales to Lieutenant Generals and restore 70 per cent pensionary benefits to jawans.

Mukherjee held discussions with Chidambaram last month on the issue after consultations with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

 

Judges pay hike unlikely before next Parliament sitting

Supreme Court and High Court judges will have to wait till the next parliament sitting expected in December to get a pay hike - a proposal which is under consideration by the Law Ministry.

“Since the higher judiciary’s emoluments can only be revised through an Act of Parliament, the government cannot do much except for doing the ground work for the process,” said a ministry official, indicating that a final decision is yet to be taken on the extent of pay hike for judges.

Once the law Ministry forms an opinion on the issue it would be discussed with the Finance Ministry, whose nod is also crucial for determining the extent of pay hike for the judges, the official said.

“Nothing is final yet…its all in the pipeline,” the official said.

Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, in a letter to the ministry in July, had sought a hike of two to three times the present monthly salaries of judges of the higher judiciary.

He had pointed towards the pay revision proposal for government employees under the Sixth Pay Commission and built a case for salary hike for judges as well.

The CJI, at present, gets a monthly salary of Rs 33,000. The letter had suggested raising it to Rs 1.1 lakh.

For other apex court judges, the CJI had suggested a monthly salary of Rs 1 lakh and favoured a similar pay for Chief Justices of High Courts. The chief justice had proposed a monthly salary of Rs 90,000 for High Court Judges.

Seeking better perks, the CJI also talked about raising the medical reimbursements for judges from the higher judiciary.

Source : NDTV

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