Sunday, May 11, 2014

       POST BOX NO.4599, HAUZ KHAS.P.O.   NEW DELHI-110016.

Respected Sir,

            Sub:  Submission on questionnaire - reg.
Ref: dated 9.4.2014

            This Association welcomes the appointment of 7th CPC under the Chairmanship of your honourable self and wish to assure our co-operation in all your efforts towards arriving just and reasonable decision on the Himalayan task of fixing the pay and allowances of about 35 lakhs of employees who serve the nation.
            This Association represents the strategically important category staff in Indian Railways ie. the Assistant Loco Pilots, Loco Pilot Shunting, Loco Pilot Goods, Loco Pilot Passenger, Motor men & Loco Pilot Mail. The recommendations of 6th CPC pertaining to this category has not been realistic to the existing conditions of service, infringed the historical relativities with that of others and resulted in numerous anomalies many of which are still pending before Anomaly committee & different forums. The grievances/demands on their allotted pay scales by the 6th CPC and the allied matters have been referred for adjudication before National Industrial Tribunal, Mumbai Bench. The disputes are still under the consideration of the tribunal.
            Considering the importance of Loco Pilots in executing the huge task of transporting millions of passengers and millions of tons of fright daily and the pathetic service conditions prevailing, they deserve much better treatment in regard to their Pay and Allowances. So we plead before your good self to kindly make it convenient to hear the Association and also to travel in a locomotive as part of the process of weighing the genuineness of the demands.
There is a general perception that the recommendations of commissions are arbitrary in nature, as the views expressed by various Ministry/Department on the demands of the workers are not being revealed. There for we would like to suggest uploading the representations of the concerned Ministry/Departments in the official website of the commission, to enable the staff side to have a say on it.

We herewith attach the views of this association on the questionnaire of the 7th CPC. A detailed memorandum on the specific demands of this category will be submitted in time.
Thanking you Sir

Place - ADRA                                                                                yours sincerely
Date:- 09/05/2014

                                                                                 (Secretary General)
                   Enclosures:  Reply to the questionnaire (13 pages)

                The views and answers of AILRSA on 7th CPC Questionnaire

  1. Salaries

1.1 The considerations on which the minimum salary in case of the lowest Group ‘C’ functionary and the maximum salary in case of a Secretary level officer may be determined and what should be the reasonable ratio between the two.
 Ans:  Wage structure in civil service is to be determined based on the computation of the minimum wage, living wage, fair comparison of wages elsewhere etc. The 15th Indian Labour Conference held in 1957 brought in the concept of “Need Based Minimum wage”, on the basis of Dr. Aykhroid formula, to be provided for an unskilled worker when employed. This definition underwent minor changes, when the Supreme Court revised the norms later. The entry grade after 6th CPC in central services is Group C with a minimum educational qualification of 10/+2/ITI who has to perform as a multi skilled worker. Thus the Commission is required to first determine the need based minimum wage as per the Dr. Aykhroid formula and make necessary adjustment to determine the wages of the lowest category in Government of India services. The co-relation of the wages of the unskilled and skilled worker at the lowest grade has always been of the order of 130% for the skilled worker. The minimum of the pay has therefore to be determined at 130% of the need based minimum wage.
The minimum maximum ratio of pay in different establishments varies. However, the earlier Pay Commissions had generally adopted a ratio of 1:10. Since the entry in the Central Government sector is no more in the grade of unskilled worker, this ratio must be proportionately changed to 1:9. Therefore, without excluding the pay of the Cabinet Secretary as done by the 6thpay commission while taking minimum maximum ratio, the salary fixed for the Cabinet Secretary is to be divided by the factor of 9 to arrive at the minimum salary of the lowest post in Central Government Service.
1.2 What should be the considerations for determining salary for various levels of functions falling between the highest level and the lowest level functionaries?
Ans: Salary for various levels of functions falling between the highest and the lowest level functionaries should be determined by applying the vertical and horizontal relativities which existed prior to sixth CPC and have evolved over a time through various Pay Commissions. The loco running staff of Indian railways shall be given for a special treatment, as their working condition and nature of duties are entirely different from that of all other government employees.

     It is unfortunate that none of CPC for central government employee had ever done the job evaluation of the central government employee in the different cadre and so the employee in different cadre especially in loco running cadre in railway has been deprived of their legitimate pay scale. All most all the CPC have taken into the consideration the qualification of the post alone thus discrediting those employees who are required to perform strenuous duties involving severe mental stress. It is therefore suggested to give due credit to the job attributes also, while determining the pay scale.

2. Comparisons

2.1 Should there be any comparison/parity between pay scales and perquisites between Government and the private sector? If so, why? If not, why not?

Ans: The central government being a model employer its employees should be treated accordingly and placed in a better position than the employees of public/private sector are.
 The Central Government employees are the main sources through which the government policies are reflected, managed efficiently, implemented successfully and so the pay scale and the perquisites should be so attractive to draw efficient brains and highly talented persons. in the Central Government Service. The strong building of nation and its economy mainly depends upon the skills of the employees in managing the government’s policy.             
                  The pay scales and perquisites of an employee in Public/Private sectors depends on its economical conditions, the attitude of an employer and the bargaining capacity of workers, its trade unions and so in the different sectors the employee avails  different types of pay scales, perquisites which cannot be quantified due to different nature of its work field. The main function of the government establishments is to govern the country, to protect the national public security and its interest in various fields. No doubt, it leads some production units and some social utility services like railways sole purpose of which are to serve the public and to contribute towards nation building. The private sector motive is to make maximum profit whereas the Government sectors ought to be service oriented serving the needs of the nation for which sincere, dedicated, and motivated and better off employees is a must.

2.2 Should there at all be any comparison/parity between pay scales and perquisites between Government and the public sector? If so, why? If not, why not?

Ans: Yes. For the sake of a fair comparison of wages.

2.3 The concept of variable pay has been introduced in Central Public Sector Enterprises by the Second Pay Revision Committee. In the case of the Government is there merit in introducing a variable component of pay? Can such variable pay be linked to performance?

Ans: As already stated, when working system, responsibilities and accountability of public sector and government employees’ is incomparable, then concept of variable pay for central Government employees’ cannot be acceptable.
In railways, the performance and the punctuality are the fruits of team work, which involves different departments, divisions and zones. So the individual performance cannot be assessed in a fair way. Hence linking variable pay to performance is unwarranted. The motto of central public enterprises is profit, but in the government establishment, the concept is social justice.

3. Attracting Talent

3.1 Does the present compensation package attract suitable talent in the All India Services & Group A Services? What are your observations and suggestions in this regard?

Ans: Any compensation package for attracting talent is appreciable. But this should not be limited for All India Services and Group A Services. There is an indication in the question that there is no need of talent in the lower posts. Since Group A officers in Central Government Service enjoy enormous power, perks and other standalone privileges it continues to attract talents. In fact, only the most talented among the talent pool enter the service owing to UPSC recruitment system and those entering the service rarely quit.  Even a lot of Engineering/Medical/Management professionals are being attracted to the service. Therefore compensation if required should not be limited to Group A alone. In the Group C services too improvements need to be made.

3.2 To what extent should government compensation be structured to attract special talent?

Ans: Government may require the service of professionals and technocrats with special talents for specific jobs. The Commission may evolve a scheme for the recruitment and retention of such professionals and technocrats with special perks, allowances and flexible service conditions.

4. Pay Scales

4.1 The 6th Central Pay Commission introduced the system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay as against the system of specific pay scales attached to various posts. What has been the impact of running pay bands post implementation of 6th CPC recommendations?

Ans: There are grave injustice because of the introduction of pay bands and merging of different pay scales of different functional post in one grade pay by the sixth CPC. Merging of promotional/feeder post in one grade pay not only demoralized the employees but also made least interested in promotion which involves transfers and higher responsibilities. In the sixth CPC, there was double standard adopted between the employees’ and officers. All the group C&D employees were covered in 8 grade pays whereas remaining all grade pay were granted amongst the Group B and Group A officers. And this resulted in lots of disputes between the employees; many are in the consideration of the court of law.
The Pay Band and Grade Pay system evolved by the 6th CPC in implementation of the concept of performance related pay structure in civil service, as mentioned elsewhere, was a disaster. Having introduced without proper consultation with the stake holders, It did not serve the requisite purpose. The system brought about innumerable anomalies of varied nature, which could not be addressed by the National or Departmental Anomaly committees within the parameters stipulated by the Government. The failure of these committees to address the issues which were appreciated by all concerned as genuine stand testimony of the incorrigible character of the scheme leaving no alternative except to discard it to be replaced by the Pay scale structure. The introduction of pay band by sixth CPC, the impact was that there is no stagnation of pay and nothing else. We suggest the scales of pay be open ended.

4.2 Is there any need to bring about any change?

Ans: Yes. There is a need to revert to Time Scale pattern of wage structure abandoning the Pay Band & Grade Pay Structure. The time scale of pay should have a minimum pay and annual increment at the rate mentioned in answer to question No. 5.2 but without any maximum so that it is a running pay scale. This will eliminate the phenomena of stagnation. If the commission decides to retain pay band system, then the number of Grade pay be increased for group C post, to eliminate the problem of feeder and promotional post lies in same grade pay as exist in the category of Loco pilots of Indian railways.

4.3 Did the pay bands recommended by the Sixth CPC help in arresting exodus and attract talent towards the Government?

Ans: It was assumed by sixth CPC that higher pay package to higher post will attract talent and honest candidates in the higher post. However, it did not arrest exodus and attract talent especially in group C post and also in specially qualified technocrats and professionals. Withdrawing statutory pension scheme invariably cause exodus and central services non attractive.

4.4 Successive Pay Commissions have reduced the number of pay scales by merging one or two pay scales together. Is there a case for the number of pay scales/ pay band to be rationalized and if so in what manner?

Ans: Successive Pay commissions had reduced the pay scales only at the Group C and D levels. It has now reached a saturation point. There is no much scope to have further exercise in this direction, rather there is definite need to increase the number of Grade pay/scales in Group C.

4.5 Is the “grade pay” concept working? If not, what are your alternative suggestions?

Ans: The same Grade Pay is allotted for different posts, which carry different duties and responsibilities, after the merger of some scales. For example under the ministry of Railway, Loco Pilot Shunting Grade1, Loco Pilot Goods, Loco Pilot Passenger, Motor man and Loco Pilot Mail have been allotted with one and the same grade pay of Rs.4200, even though all these posts are declared as promotional posts with selection process, and thus allowing the same Grade Pay is unjust and unfair. Whereas the Primary teacher, the Senior teacher and the Head masters have been granted three different grade pays even though there was no much functional difference between the posts. Same is the case with the nursing staff who have been given grade pay 4600, 4800, 5400 & 6600. Such anomalies crept into the system because of indiscriminate merging of posts. In practice it is seen that very few employees prefer to take higher responsibility as taking of higher responsibility did not accrue any higher emoluments than what they hold in lower post. The concept of Grade pay is not working at all, as it gives rise to a lot of anomalies and disputes. It must be replaced with the time scale pay structure.

5. Increment

5.1 Whether the present system of annual increment on 1st July of every year uniformly in case of all employees has served its purpose or not? Whether any changes are required?

Ans: No. In fact the single date increment system has brought in anomalies, which were discussed at length at the National Anomaly Committee, without reaching an agreement. In our Opinion, the commission must recommend, for administrative expediency, two specific dates as increment dates. Viz. Ist January and Ist July. Those recruited/appointed/promoted during the period between 1st Jan and 30th June, will have their increment date on 1st January and those recruited/appointed/promoted between Ist July and 31st December will have it on Ist July next. This apart the Commission is required to recommend specifically that those who retire on 30th June and 31st December be  granted one increment on the last day of their service.

 5.2 What should be the reasonable quantum of annual increment?

Ans: The present 3% is inadequate as no Group C Employee will reach even 75% of the pay band even after 30 years of service. Therefore it should be enhanced to at least 5% to motivate performance.

5.3 Whether there should be a provision of variable increments at a rate higher than the normal annual increment in case of high achievers? If so, what should be transparent and objective parameters to assess high achievement, which could be uniformly applied across Central Government?

Ans: No need of provision of variable increments because it will be impracticable to derive objective parameter to assess high achievement uniformly applied across Central services. Therefore, it gives way to nepotism.

5.4 Under the MACP scheme three financial up-gradations are allowed on completion of 10, 20, 30 years of regular service, counted from the direct entry grade. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the scheme? Is there a perception that a scheme of this nature, in some Departments, actually incentivizes people who do not wish to take the more arduous route of qualifying departmental examinations/ or those obtaining professional degrees?

Ans: The present three financial up gradations to be raised to five, one in every 5 years. Such financial upgradation on should be given on cadre hierarchical and not as present. The para  8 of MACP should be dispensed with since it contradicts Para no.2 of MACP  which states that financial advancement on application of MACP will be 3% increasing pay in Pay band plus next grade pay. Para 8 nullifies this. The scheme is required to be continued to motivate employees. Normal promotions are dependent upon the availability of vacancies at higher levels. The job requirement of certain organizations may not be capable of creating requisite number of higher level positions whereas it might need large number of personnel at lower levels. MACP alone can take care of that specific situation. The arduous route of career progression through examination and professional qualification, no doubt will be preferred if and if only such promotions are made available for the eligible candidates within a reasonable period of residency in the feeder cadre. Say three years.
 a) On implementation of MACP juniors get more pay than seniors in many     categories.

b) The historical horizontal and vertical relativity that existed prior to 6th CPC have been totally shattered.
   6. Performance

 What kind of incentives would you suggest to recognize and reward good performance?

Ans: In the present scenario and in the present practice the method of analyzing the performance in various departments is not conducive and equitable, will invariably lead to demoralize the honest employees as nepotism intrudes.

7. Impact on other organizations

 Salary structures in the Central and State Governments are broadly similar. The recommendations of the Pay Commission are likely to lead to similar demands from employees of State Governments, municipal bodies, panchayati raj institutions & autonomous institutions. To what extent should their paying capacity be considered in devising a reasonable remuneration package for Central Govt. employees?

Ans: The fiscal deficit of all the states in the aggregate declined in the recent years. The performances in aggregate of the states have been quite spectacular to the extent that many states have already achieved fiscal correction aided by enhanced tax revenues due to the introduction of VAT. The successful introduction of VAT has contributed to increased tax revenues. Most of the states adopted the sixth CPC recommendations. It is our assessment that the most of the states would be in a position to meet the additional expenditure arising on account of the implementation of the recommendation of the 7th CPC. Devolving more tax revenue share between centre and state can also be undertaken.

Capacity of a Governmental organization to pay cannot only be gauged from the available resources but also from its potential to raise resources. Wages cannot be determined on the single factor of capacity of the Government to pay. It must be noted that there are various State Governments in the country that pay better pay packets, perquisites and allowances to its employees than what is provided to the Central Government employees. Panchayati Raj institution, Municipalities, normally follow the salary structure of the respective State Governments. It is also to be noted that various State Governments do revise the wages of their employees once in five years. In any case the incapacity of the government to pay cannot be a justification to deny the minimum wage to workers and the salary structure based upon that concept, especially in the background that the government is to function as a model employer.

8. Defence Forces (8.1 to 8.6)

Ans: No comments.

  9. Allowances

9.1 Whether the existing allowances need to be retained or rationalized in such a manner as to ensure that salary structure takes care not only of the job profile but the situational factors as well, so that the number of allowances could be at a realistic level?

Ans: All allowances have their own unique purposes and evolved based on detailed deliberations by successive pay commissions. Therefore, it should be retained and improved   progressively

9.2 What should be the principles to determine payment of House Rent Allowance?

 Ans: The principle adopted to determine HRA should not be exclusively based on the population at the cities but should also include the rate of rent prevailing. There should be a minimum HRA guaranteed for those in lowest grade pays, irrespective of the pay drawn, which is to be fixed  taking into account the original rent rate prevailing in the area for a 2 BHK house.

10. Pension

10.1 The retirement benefits of all Central Government employees appointed on or after 1.1.2004 are covered by the New Pension Scheme (NPS). What has been the experience of the NPS in the last decade?

 Ans: Experience is very bad. Instead of NPS, statutory pension need to be restored for the reasons –
1.       Pension of government employees is a deferred wage.  Wage paid out to them during the course of work tenure is kept low by design to cater for pension.
2.       Pension is a social welfare measure and cannot be subjected to market risks
3.       It does not guarantee minimum return and thus lacks basic fibre of social security scheme.
4.       It is in no way better than the existing scheme. It does not provide guaranteed family pension to the dependants and disabled siblings which exist in statutory pension scheme, even in case of spouse and dependant parents where death of the employee occur in early years of service there is no adequate social security. Leaving the honest employee, unattended, uncared in his fag end of life is not ethical and against the right enshrined in constitution and against morale.
5.       The New pension scheme has in fact created a class within class amongst the Central Government employees which is discriminatory and impermissible. It is clearly in contravention of the dictum pronounced by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Nakara Vs Union of India and therefore deserves to be rescinded.
6.        And all the employees are demanding to scrap the NPS and include   them in old pension scheme. For the same, all trade unions in the national level are on the war path. So it is significant to withdraw the NPS and allow old pension scheme to all.

10.2 As far as pre-1.1.2004 appointees are concerned, what should be the principles that govern the structure of pension and other retirement benefits?

Ans: The concept of modified parity introduced by the 5th CPC must be replaced with the full parity concept as was made applicable for the personnel retired prior to 1.1.1986. In other words, the pay of every retired person must be re-determined notionally as if he is not retired and then his pension to be computed under the revised rules. This alone will protect the value of pension of a retired person.
5th CPC in their Para 127.6 has observed, “It needs to be averred emphatically that pension is not in the nature of alms being doled out to beggars. Senior Citizens (Retired Government employees) need to be treated with dignity & courtesy benefitting their age. Pension is their statutory, inalienable, enforceable right & it has been earned by the sweat of their brow” Hon’ble Supreme Court, in its landmark 5 Judge Constitutional Bench judgement dated 17.12.1982 in the case of D.S. Nakara Vs Union of India ruled –
“A Pension scheme consistent with available resources must provide (adequate pension) so that the Pensioner would be able to live -

i) Free from want, with decency, independence and self respect and
ii) In a same standard equivalent to that prevailed before retirement
iii) Pensioners from payment of pension form a homogenous class.

Different formulae affording unequal treatment cannot be adopted to compute their pension solely on the ground that some retired earlier and some retired later.
A comprehensive scheme of retirement benefit has been suggested by the stake holders both as an agenda in the National Council meeting of JCM and the meetings of SCOVA. The Commission is requested to consider the well thought out scheme formulated in those agenda and make recommendations to the Government, so that the pension and retirement benefits will really become meaningful for the retired employees.

A] Full pension should be 65% of the last drawn Basic Pay instead of 50%.
B] Dearness Relief to be merged with basic pension whenever dearness relief crosses 25%.
C] Pension to be enhanced by 5% in every 5 years.

11. Strengthening the public governance system

11.1 The 6th CPC recommended upgrading the skills of the Group D employees and placing them in Group C over a period of time. What has been the experience in this regard?

Ans: The then existing Group D employees, to the best of our understanding have all been trained, upgraded or promoted to function as skilled group C employees.

 11.2 In what way can Central Government organizations functioning be improved to make them more efficient, accountable and responsible? Please give specific suggestions with respect to:
a) Rationalisation of staff strength and more productive deployment of available staff;
b) Rationalisation of processes and reduction of paper work; and
c) Economy in expenditure.

Ans: Whatever rationalization effected so far by the Government had been through an unscientific and arbitrary executive fiat like the one issued in 2001 and which was kept operative till 2009. The said exercise only reduced the staff strength drastically. We are not aware of any rationalization or reduction in Group A cadres through this exercise even though the executive instruction covered all grades and cadres in the Government service. It in effect made most of the departments of the Govt. of India either non functional or dysfunctional. In our considered opinion, the 7thCPC must recommend to the Government to set up a Committee in each department with experts from outside the organization, the officials from within the organization and representative of the Unions of the respective department. Such committee shall study the functional changes taken place over the years, especially due to the induction of modern technology the new challenges and the best way to meet those challenges’ reduction in paper work, customer satisfaction and economy in expenditure and make suggestions to the Government for their acceptance and implementation in toto.

12. Training/ building competence

12.1 How would you interpret the concept of “competency based framework”?

Ans: This in fact is a matter which must be considered by an Administrative Reforms Commission rather than a Pay Commission.12.2 One of the terms of reference suggests that the Commission recommend appropriate training and capacity building through a competency based framework.

a) Is the present level of training at various stages of a person's career considered adequate? Are there gaps that need to be filled, and if so, where?
b) Should it be made compulsory that each civil service officer should in his career span acquire a professional qualification? If so, can the nature of the study, time intervals and the Institution(s) whose qualification are acceptable, all be stipulated?
c) What other indicators can best measure training and capacity building for personnel in your organization? Please suggest ways through which capacity building can be further strengthened?

Ans: In our opinion in - service training is the best course for skill development.

13. Outsourcing

13.1 What has been the experience of outsourcing at various levels of Government and is there a case for streamlining it?

Ans: Outsourcing deteriorates the quality of service due to lack of dedication and accountability and it paves way for corruption. It will lead to labour exploitation also.

13.2 Is there a clear identification of jobs that can be outsourced?

 Ans: Jobs of perennial nature should not be outsourced.

14. Regulatory Bodies (14.1 to 14.3)

Ans: No comments.

15. Payment of Bonus

One of the terms of reference of the 7th Pay Commission is to examine the existing schemes of payment of bonus. What are your suggestions and observations in this regard?

Ans: As far as Railway is concerned, it is defined as an industry. Therefore instead of productivity linked bonus statutory bonus should be given.

                     ALL INDIA LOCO RUNNING STAFF ASSOCIATION                                                


gautam said...

very god analysis and very hopefully we are looking and auspect positive for running staff specialy grade pay and macp issue

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