Monday, May 23, 2016

7th CPC: Arrears of salary hike under 7th Pay Commission to be paid in August

The central government is trying to balance out the burden of the 7th pay commission payout on the exchequer. As per reports, though the salaries of the government employees will be paid in July as per the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, the arrears from January 2016, will be disbursed only August onwards.

Implementation of new pay scales recommended by the 7th Pay Commission headed by AK Mathur estimated to put an additional burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore, or 0.7 percent of GDP, on the exchequer in 2016-17, government has said. 
7th Pay Commission: PMO not insensitive to higher payout for central govt employees 
The recommendations of the Pay Commission will have bearing on the remuneration of 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners.
There are reports doing the round that government will payout arrears of only the salary component and not allowances. 
The employees are anticipating at least Rs 24,000 take-home salary per month.
In a meeting with the  BJP's  labour  wing  Bharatiya  Mazdoor Sangh, Jitendra Prasad, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, had told the delegation that government would positively look into the demand of the central government employees. "The minister said we will consider the proposal of minimum pay of 24,000”, said Pawan Kumar, Regional Organizing Secretary.


Central govt employees say no unilateral decision on salary hikes under 7th Pay Commission acceptable

The central government employees lead by the National Council (Staff Side) Joint Consultative Machinery would like to have more say in the way their monthly salaries and allowances are shaped up by the Empowered Committee of Secretaries.


The Union Cabinet had, on January 13, given approval for setting up an empowered committee of Secretaries under the Cabinet Secretary to process the recommendations of the pay panel. The empowered committee has even invited the Joint Consultative Machinery (Staff side) to understand their view point, but the central employees union needs a bilateral negotiation on the matter.  
"Neither did the Government side make any commitment on any demands, nor did they indicate in the minutes that further discussion will be held with the staff side to arrive at a negotiated settlement on each demands. It seems that the Modi Government is moving ahead to issue unilateral orders taking the staff side for a ride", said M Krishnan, Secretary General of the central government employees confederation.
The employees are leaving no stone unturned to extract the highest pay out under the 7th CPC, "The staff side on the other hand has taken a position that if unilateral orders are issued, without taking the staff side into confidence, the NJCA shall go ahead with the indefinite strike from 11th July 2016 as already informed to the government", added Krishnan.


Cabinet Secretary’s panel on 7th CPC to have key meeting on June 11; salary hikes unlikely to come in July

The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha processing the report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission is expected to meet on June 11 to finally wrap up its report on the remuneration of government employees.

It is reported that the secretaries panel will finally hear out all the stakeholders, including the Central ministries and Departments, and finalise its report, which will be handed over to the government on June 30.
Sources added that even the Prime Minister's Office is keen on a favourable pay hike for the central government employees, so the panel is likely to recommend a minimum salary at Rs 24,000 and the highest salary at Rs 2,70,000.

The 7th pay panel headed by AK Mathur had recommended the minimum salary at Rs 18,000 and maximum salary at Rs 2,50,000.

Sources added that the government is exploring options for meeting the additional payout over and above what was recommended by the 7th pay panel. The payout could be substantial with salary hike and arrears adding up to a Rs 1.02 lakh crore burden on government finances.

However, it seems that the government employees will have to wait more for the salary hike. Once the report moves from the table of the empowered group of committee to the cabinet, it is likely to take another month before the notification on pay hike will eventually come.
Even the Finance Ministry is keen that higher salaries reach government employees just before the festive season starting mid-August, as spurt in consumption during the festive period will have a domino effect on the economy.


Issues To Be Considered By The Empowered Committee

7th Pay Commission Report – Areas which require Revision / Modification by Empowered Committee 

After 7th Pay Commission formed in February 2014, staff side JCM consisting of members who are also office bearers of various staff organisations had submitted detailed memorandum to the Commission and suggested the quantum of Minimum Pay, Fitment Formula, Annual Rate of Increment, Date of Effect, Ratio between Minimum Pay and Maximum Pay, Fixation of Pay on Promotion etc., for taking in consideration by 7th Pay Commission in its recommendations.

Many of the demands of the staff side were, however, considered unfavourably by the 7th Pay Commission in its recommendations.

Now, Staff Side have been impressing upon Empowered Committee, the need for rectification / modification / revision of many of retrograde recommendations of 7th Pay Commission.

We provide here a brief of the areas with respect to which Staff Side members will have to demand for revision / modification of the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission.

1. Minimum 7th Pay Commission Pay and Ratio between Minimum and Maximum Pay:

7th Pay Commission has proposed a basic pay of Rs. 18000 as minimum entry pay in Central Government Service (Pay of MTS). However, Staff Side JCM is of the view that as per approved methods such as Dr.Aykroyd Formula, minimum pay in Central Government Service should be Rs. 26,000.

2. Date of Effect and Fitment Formula:

Staff Side JCM had put forth before 7th Pay Commission that uniform fitment formula / multiplication factor of 3.7 to be applied while fixing the basic pay of existing employees.
With regard to Date of effect of 7th Pay Commission pay and allowances, members representing staff side submitted before 7th CPC that Central Government Employees are due for pay revision every ten years and that in order to rectify the delay in implementation of pay commission award in the past, the present pay commission award has to be given effect from 1st January 2014.

Contrary to Staff Side JCM’s suggestions, 7th Pay Commission has fixed the fitment formula / multiplication factor as 2.57. While mere merger of DA with existing pay in pay band and Grade pay would require a multiplication factor of 2.25, 7CPC proposed fitment formula / multiplication factor of 2.57 would result in increase in basic pay to an extent of 14.22% only.

Hence, convincing 7th CPC empowered committee for a higher multiplication factor / fitment formula would be the foremost concern of Staff Side JCM.

As far as date of effect of 7th Pay Commission award is concerned, the commission has not accepted the suggestion of Staff Side. It has observed that since the previous pay commission was given effect from 1st January 2006, the present pay commission award will have to be made effect only from 1st January 2016.

3. Annual Rate of Increment and Date of Increment:

Staff JCM in its memorandum before 7th Pay Commission suggested that since most of the PSUs including the banking industries provide the incremental rate at 5% and over a period of time it raised the salary level of the personnel, rate of annual increment for Central Government Employees will have to be fixed at 5%.

Further, uniform date of increment prescribed by the 6th CPC resulted in many anomalies, Staff Side JCM submitted that two specific dates as increment dates, Viz. 1st January and 1st July will have to be introduced. Those recruited/appointed/promoted during the period between 1st January and 30th June will have their increment date on 1st January and those recruited/appointed/promoted between 1st July and 31st December will have it on 1st July next year.

Also, staff side required that those who retire on 30th June or 31st December are granted one increment on the last day of their service, since they serve the entire one year of service required for an increment as on the date of retirement.

Recommendation of 7th Pay Commission on the rate of increment:

In spite of valid argument of staff side for recommending annual increment rate of 5%, 7th Pay Commission has not made revision in annual increment and Promotional increment which have been recommended at the rate of 3% of basic pay.

4. Scrapping of NPS:

Staff Side JCM is of the view that New Pension system (NPS) has to be scrapped and all the employees who have joined in Govt Service on or after 01.01.2004, are to be brought to defined pension scheme.

However, 7th Pay Commission observed that the NPS will have to be continued; that Govt should frame necessary law / Policy for proper investment of NPS fund in Equity and that a strong grievance redressel will have to be formed to serve NPS employees.

5. Transport Allowance:

With regard to Transport Allowance, Staff Side JCM presented the demand that if at all Transport allowance is meant to defray transport charges then low paid employees ought to have been paid higher transport allowance then higher level officers as they only travel from long distances to reach office. Hence, it was suggested by Staff Side that uniform transport allowance be paid irrespective of level of the cadre
Pay Range
X class cities
other places
Up to Rs.75,000
Rs. 7500 plus DA
Rs. 3750 plus DA

However, 7th Pay Commission has not modified the structure of Transport allowance on the basis of pay level. The existing DA on Transport Allowance has been proposed to be merged. The new rates of Transport Allowance suggested are as follows:
Pay Level
Higher TPTA Cities
(Rs. pm)
Other Places
(Rs. pm)
9 and above
3 to 8
1 and 2


6. MACP:

It has been demanded by Staff Side JCM that five hierarchical promotions to be granted under MACP. Presently only 3 financial upgradations either in the form of promotion or time bound financial upgradation to next grade pay are being ensured under MACP.

7th Pay Commission has not made any proposal for revising the number of upgradations under MACP which is three at present.

With regard to the benchmark for performance appraisal for MACP as well as for regular promotion, 7th Pay Commission has recommended that in the interest of improving performance level, the same has to be enhanced from ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good.’

7th Pay Commission has also noted that introduction of more stringent criteria such as clearing of departmental examinations or mandatory training before grant of MACP can also be considered by the government.

Withholding Annual Increments of Non-performers:

7th Pay Commission has proposed that employees who do not meet the laid down performance criterion should not be allowed to earn future annual increments.

The Commission has proposed for withholding of annual increments in the case of those employees who are not able to meet the benchmark either for MACP or a regular promotion within the first 20 years of their service.

7. House Building Advance:

Staff Side JCM had demanded for increasing the advance to 50 times of the Salary and fixing the rate of interest not more than 5%.

As per 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations, 34 times of Basic Pay OR Rs.25 lakh OR anticipated price of house, whichever is least can be availed as House Building Advance.

The requirement of minimum 10 years of continuous service to avail of HBA has been proposed to be reduced to 5 years.

If both spouses are government servants, 7CPC has proposed that HBA should be admissible to both separately. Existing employees who have already taken Home Loans from banks and other financial institutions would be allowed to migrate to this scheme, as recommended by 7CPC.

8. Children Education Allowance:

Suggestions of Staff Side:
Presently the allowance is admissible for two children, for studying in a recognised school up to XII standard. The maximum ceiling is stipulated at Rs.18000/- since this allowance had been hiked by 50% because of the DA component in salary having been crossed 100% on 1.1.2014. It is suggested that doubling of this allowance and increasing the same by 50 % whenever the DA crosses over by 50%.

Further, it has been suggested that the CEA scheme may be extended to cover children studying for Graduate/Post Graduate and Professional courses.

7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on Children Education Allowance:
CEA (Rs. pm)
1500×1.5 = 2250
Whenever DA increases by 50%, CEA shall increase by 25%
Hostel Subsidy (Rs. pm)
4500 x 1.5 = 6750 (ceiling)
Whenever DA increases by 50%, Hostel
Subsidy shall increase by 25%

7th Pay Commission has not accepted the Staff Side’s demand that CEA to be applicable for children beyond class 12.

9. HRA:

House Rent Allowance suggested by Staff Side JCM

X classified cities
Y classified towns
Z classified/unclassified places

House Rent Allowance recommended by 7th Pay Commission 

Population of Cities/Towns
Class of Cities/Towns
HRA rates as % of Basic Pay
(including MSP and NPA)
50 lakh and above
50–5 lakh
Below 5 lakh

HRA when DA crosses 50% 

Population of 
Class of Cities/Towns
HRA rates as % of Basic Pay 
(including MSP and NPA)
50 lakh and above
50–5 lakh
Below 5 lakh

HRA when crosses 100% 
Population of Cities/Towns
Class of Cities/Towns
HRA rates as % of Basic Pay 
(including MSP and NPA)
50 lakh and above
50–5 lakh
Below 5 lakh

10. LTC:

Staff Side JCM demanded the following as far as Leave Travel Concession applicable to Central Government Employees is concerned
1. Permission for air journey for all categories of employees to and from NE Region.
2. Permission for personnel posted in NE Region for a journey within NE Region.
3. To increase the periodicity of the LTC once in two years.
4. Explore the possibility of allowing an employer to undertake tour outside India once in a service career in lieu of the LTC.
7th Pay Commission Report on LTC:
It could be found that suggestions of Staff Side JCM such as increasing the frequency of All India LTC, permission for air travel for all categories of employees in respect of NE Region etc., were not discussed in the report of 7th Pay Commission.
The proposal to split hometown LTC has been considered and it is recommended that splitting of hometown LTC should be allowed in case of employees posted in North East, Ladakh and Island territories of Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep.
Also, it is obsered by 7th Pay Commission that LTC to foreign countries is not in the ambit of this Commission.

11. Gratuity:

Suggestions of Staff Side JCM:
Staff Side JCM suggested that in respect of gratuity payable to employees ceiling of 16.5 times and the quantum limit of Rs. 10 lakhs should also be removed. It was pointed out that in the banking industry there is no such ceiling of 16.5 months salary but the retiring bank employees are getting at the rate of ½ a month salary for every year of service even over and above 33 years of service. Hence, in respect of Central Government Employees also for a service span exceeding 33 years, the gratuity should be higher and the above ceiling be withdrawn.
7th Pay Commission’s recommendations on Gratuity:

It has been recommended by 7th Pay Commission that ceiling of gratuity is to be raised from the existing Rs.10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh from 01.01.2016. Further, as per Commission’s recommendations, Gratuity is to be partially indexed to Dearness Allowance. It is proposed that the ceiling on gratuity may increase by 25% whenever DA rises by 50 percent.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Declining Status of the Indian Armed Forces

by Shashi Tharoor

For better or worse, Armed Force is the guarantor of a nation’s security. It protects the nation from threats extending beyond or within its borders. The Indian armed forces act as the guardian of the legitimacy enjoyed by the government through the spirit of the democratic process. The officers of our armed forces swear “true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution of India upon enrolment in the military. But do we, the political establishment, show the same faith and allegiance towards our uniformed citizens? I fear not. Petty slights, ranging from deliberately downgrading the military in protocol terms, to persistent actions to lower the status and compensation of our military personnel, have eroded the dignity of the Indian armed forces. The consequences will inevitably be suffered by all.
The armed forces are among those very few citizens of India who, at a moment’s notice, might be summoned to sacrifice their lives in the service of their country.
The 15 lakh servicemen constitute approximately 30% of central government employees.
However, with each Central Pay Commission (CPC), the seventh of which was released last year, we have proven to be blind to their enduring sacrifice. We have short-changed the remuneration of our armed servicemen. One such change put forward in the CPC is the status of Brigadiers, who, until the 3rd CPC, were granted a higher salary than the deputy inspector general (DIG) of the police.
Today, Brigadiers are equated to the deputy inspector general, and, after the implementation of the 7th CPC, will be relegated to a lower pay scale than DIGs. These changes defy reason: only 2% of defence officers achieve such a rank, which is only received after 12 more years of service than the designation of DIG.
The result is that longer service in the Indian Army is rewarded with less compensation than fewer years of service in the police force. What could possibly justify such a disparity?
7th Central Pay Commission
The 7th CPC also recommends, among other things:
*a separate pay matrix and 
*disability pension policy for defence forces, which largely disadvantages the defence personnel in favour of higher allowances for their civilian counterparts.
According to the 7th CPC, disabled junior commission officers in the IAF are given Rs 12,000 as a disability pension while the equivalent civilian with the same level of disability draws over twice that amount (Rs 27,690).
Disabled junior Commission Officers are given Rs 12,000 as pension.
A civilian with the same level of disability is given Rs 27,690.
But remuneration, as delineated in the CPC, is but one facet of a larger trend of diminishing the status of our servicemen.
The Order of Precedence is the official hierarchy of the Republic of India. It denotes the rank of government officials in the ceremonial protocol; an important point of pride and status for all government servants. By codifying government’s official rankings, it is a convenient illustration of the inconvenient reality of the lowered status of our military personnel.
Since 1947, subsequent to every Indian military victory (1947-8, 1965, and 1971), our military officers have been marginalized further and further down the Order of Precedence.
Post 1962
After the 1962 Indo-China war, the three Chiefs of Staff were put below the newly created Cabinet Secretary. The Major Generals were equated to a rank below the Director of the Intelligence Bureau.
Post 1965
After the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, the Chiefs of Staff were further downgraded below the Attorney General.
In 1968
In 1968, Major Generals were placed below the Deputy Controller and Auditor-General.
In 1971
In 1971, the Service Chiefs came below the Comptroller and Auditor-General (both of whom were previously below Lieutenant General). Similarly, Lieutenant Generals have been placed below the Chief Secretaries, who were previously ranked lower than Major Generals.
With each war came the deaths of countless of our nation’s children, who gave the ultimate measure of devotion in service of their nation.
The changes to the Order of Precedence and the growing disparity in salary suggests that we have commemorated their sacrifice and rewarded their efforts with a harsh and unconscionable gift of declined dignity.
Protocol, Policy-Making and Peacekeeping -
I still recall in my UN peace-keeping days my astonishment at meeting an Indian delegation wherein an experienced and impressive Brigadier had to cede place to a less-informed Director-rank civilian from the MEA, purely on grounds of protocol. It taught me a great deal about what was wrong with our policy-making on peacekeeping.
Issues of status and remuneration might appear trivial, but they augur ill for the future well-being of the country.
The Army is not as attractive a career option for the next generation as it was for their forebears.
The armed forces are already arm-wrestling with the invisible hand of the market to capture the available talent and capacities of the younger generation. But their ability to recruit young citizens is, ironically, undermined by the very economic development that they guarantee though keeping our nation secure.
The armed forces are as critical to guaranteeing the safety of the nation in this century as in the last. Conventional wars over territorial disputes may appear improbable today. But make no mistake, while we are not at war, we are also not at peace.
The 21st century marks the beginning of a protracted era of geopolitical volatility that presents itself as an illusion of peace to the complacent. We have an unresolved border issue with China, continuing hostilities conducted by “non-state actors” from Pakistan, militants in Kashmir and the northeast, and the ever-present threat of terrorism.
The lowering of status and remuneration of the Indian armed forces is an attack on the very insurance that guarantees the liberties endowed to all citizens of India. We must empower our officers and soldiers and grant them the position of prominence they deserve. Revising the errors in the 7th Pay Commission decisions and in the Order of Precedence would be a good place to start.
(Former UN under-secretary-general, Shashi Tharoor is a Congress MP and author)


The politicians, the bureaucracy and now even the other civil services have been responsible for betraying and deliberately lowering the status, dignity and remunerations of the Armed Forces personnel. No one can ever deny the fact that time and again, they have stood by the Nation's security, territorial integrity and dignity, in every walk of life which more often is away from their normal course of duties, especially so when all other so to say specialised civil  have very often failed to perform even their normal day to day duties.

Under these circumstances, with what face and justification are the politico-bureaucratic combine is shamelessly bent upon down grading the Indian Armed Forces in every sphere of Nation's life. Is their any one in Indian political set up including the Prime Minister, who can check this downward slide of the Defence services?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Highest French distinction given to people's Governor

 By Pradeep Kumar
Former army chief general (retired) J J Singh  Delhi was conferred with the highest French civilian distinction, Officer of the Legion of Honour, on April 11 last.

    Singh was chosen for the honour in recognition of his "stellar role" in modernising the Indian Army and initiating robust exchanges between the Indian and French armies leading to "unprecedented" levels of cooperation and inter-operability and creation of enduring ties and promotion of mutual understanding between the two countries, the French Embassy said here.

   'Officier de l'Ordre national de la Legion d'Honneur' is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.  Singh was conferred the honour by French Ambassador to India, Francois Richier.

   An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and holder of a master's degree in Defence Science, Singh was commissioned into the 9th Maratha Light Infantry on 02.08.64.

    In January, 2003, he was appointed as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC), took over as Western Command Army Commander in January 2004 but assumed the office of Chief of Army Staff on 31.01.05 and appointed Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee of the three forces.

   Working tirelessly for the enhancement of military cooperation between the Indian and French armies, he led an inter-services delegation to France that year.

It was during his tenure that he mooted the idea of holding joint army exercises at the level already existing between the two countries' air forces (Garuda) and navies (Varuna).

"It was thus that the 'Shakti' inter-army exercise later came into being in 2011," the statement said.

In 2009, he was invited as the guest of honour for the French National Day military parade in Paris in which an Indian Army contingent took part for the first time.

   He earned the honour 'A soldier's General' before his  retirement in September 2007. He was appointed Arunachal Pradesh Governor on 27.01.08, wrote his  autobiography  'A soldier's General', but received the highest honours 'People's Governor' given by the people, as claimed by him. He demitted office on 28.05.13.

    With China oft repeatedly claiming over the territory of Arunachal Pradesh, the appointment of retired Army chief was a message that New Delhi meant business.

    Four days after resuming duty, workaholic Gen JJ air-dashed to insurgency-infested Tirpap district HQs Khosna to announce his doctrine to adopt 'Iron fist' denotes a ruthless and ‘no nonsense’ approach while tackling insurgents or terrorists and the 'velvet glove' shows humane approach when dealing with innocent ones. The only way to address terrorism is to deal with issues that create terrorism, to resolve them where possible and where that is not possible, to ensure that there is an alternative to violence. In fact, he has been invited to different parts of the world to advise ways to tackle insurgency and terrorism

   With development as buzzword, Gen JJ went on frequent tours, attempted to remove the hurdles to accelerate the process of development to win the hearts of the masses to be called 'People's governor'. His chemistry with the ruling chief minister was unique and unparalleled without any misgiving. Sobbing officer officers and those who loved him pulled the flower decorated jeep carrying Gen JJ and his wife Anupama Singh from Raj Bhawan to the helipad where he boarded a chopper on way to Delhi.

 The turnaround he had brought to the development process is lit large all over the state and list is very lengthy. The most important of all, according to me, was his sincere efforts to open border trade with China by reopening the historic Stillwell road. Anyone could drive at 100 km speed from Jairmapur to Pangsau Pass, the personal initiative of Gen JJ.

 He was well aware that 50% of world's rich in South East Asian nations and once the 1,726-km Stillwell road, from Ledo in Assam to Kunming in Yunan province of China, developed by US Army Gen Joseph Stillwell in 1945, once opens would herald a new era of economic development for this under developed state.

   Though the Indian Army had been refusing permission despite repeated efforts of the GoAP to open border trade by reopening the Stillwell road, the governor's recommendation as former Army chief could not be undermined. The state would reap its fruit very soon as he had described it to me in plain words.

As I am on a move in various parts of Odisha, Gen JJ's office cold contact me after  trying for three days to give me the details and confirm that the former governor had received my salutation.