A meeting was held toady with the MOS (R) on the issues attached herewith. He has called us tomorrow also. He also wants to discuss all the issues with us in the presence of one of the authorities having a responsible seat, i.e., at least DG, HRD. Let's see what happens as outcome.
RAVI MALIK - SG/ AIACEGEO
Sh. Jasudasu Seelam,
The Hon’ble Minister of State (Revenue), Department of Revenue,
Ministry of Finance, North Block, New Delhi.
Sub: Staff grievances.
It is submitted with due regards that the various grievances of the staffside are long pending with the administration for the want of redressal. All of the grievances have been unredressed despite of the assurances given to the Association by the authorities. It is also worth to submit that the Association has already represented on every issue by its repeated requests but without result. Therefore, the following points are hereby submitted for your kind consideration-
1. Immediate approval & implementation of cadre restructuring without any cut: The necessary steps may kindly be taken for immediate approval of the ongoing cadre restructuring without any cut. It is pending with cadre review committee after approval by the Hon’ble Finance Minister as well as the Department of Expenditure. It is requested that all the posts may kindly be approved on permanent basis and be filled in un-staggered manner only by promotions with no direct recruitment at group ‘A’ entry level at least for 5 years after its implementation particularly keeping in view the extraordinarily acute stagnation of the Superintendents/Inspectors of Central Excise. Hundreds of these officers are retiring every month with only one promotion in their service career of 35-40 years after joining as Inspector. The ongoing one is only IInd cadre restructuring in CBEC started in 2006 and pending even in its 7th year despite of guidelines to happen after every 5 years.
2. Re-framing of Recruitment Rules: Central Excise Superintendents & Inspectors are already forced to work under their extreme juniors of Customs belonging to same cadre recruited through same examination in CBEC under same Department of Revenue and same Ministry of Finance. The single cadre of Inspector has been trifurcated into 3 categories in absolutely unjustified manner, i.e., Inspector (Central Excise & Land Customs), P.O. (Inspector Customs) & Examiner (Inspector Customs) to be promoted as Superintendent (Central Excise & Land Customs), Superintendent (Customs) & Appraiser (Customs) respectively re-merging at group ‘A’ entry level. This places the Inspector (Central Excise & Land Customs) 20 years behind the Examiner (Inspector Customs) due to the discriminatory rate of promotion and faulty Recruitment Rules. The new Recruitment Rules (RR’s) to grant “just & fair representation” to each category were to be framed as per the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court given in C.W.P. No. 385/10 but the RR’s framed by CBEC would no way be able to grant “just & fair representation” to Central Excise stream officers. “Just & fair representation” will never be possible till senior officers of Central Excise continue to work under the junior officers of Customs recruited in the same cadre of Inspector. Therefore, the RR’s may kindly be framed in the manner of granting parity in promotions to all the common entry counterparts maintaining their relative seniority. The problem is not being solved despite of its admittance and assurance by CBEC on various occasions including its Board meetings of 12.01.11 & 18.02.11 as well as the presentation made on cadre restructuring on 18.01.11. It is requested that the RR’s may kindly be framed without trifurcating the single cadre at Inspector as well as Superintendent level prescribing the qualifying services as below in consonance of OM No. AB-14017/61/2008-Estt.(RR) dt. 24.03.09 of DOPT which stipulates thepromotion of Inspector completing 12, 17 & 20 years of service to the grade of Joint Commissioner, Additional Commissioner & Commissioner respectively. The validity of this OM was also admitted by CBEC during the presentation of cadre restructuring proposal on 18.01.11 but they showed inability to implement it due to want of required number of vacancies/posts. Required number of posts may kindly be created to implement the OM or the officers may kindly be granted in-situ promotions requiring no creation of posts.
(i) 2 years for promotion to a post with a grade pay of Rs. 4,800/- after joining as Inspector.
(ii) 7 years for promotion to a post with a grade pay of Rs. 6,600/- after joining as Inspector (There is no justification of promoting an officer from a grade pay of Rs. 5,400/- to 5,400/-. It is also submit-worthy that the most of the group ‘B’ gazetted officers including CSS are being promoted to a senior group ‘A’ post instead of junior group ‘A’ in Central as well as State governments.).
(iii) 12 years for promotion to a post with a grade pay of Rs. 7,600/- after joining as Inspector.
(iv) 17 years for promotion to a post with a grade pay of Rs. 8,700/- after joining as Inspector.
(v) 20 years for promotion to a post with a grade pay of Rs. 10,000/- after joining as Inspector.
(vi) and so on.
Keeping in view the extraordinarily acute stagnation of the Central Excise executive officers, there should kindly be incorporated the permanent provisions in the RR’s at every level framed on the above lines in addition to the above qualifying services to promote (even in-situ or otherwise) the officer automatically to the next higher grade, if his/her stagnation in a grade reaches one & half times of qualifying service.
3. Parity with common entry counterparts of CSS, CBDT etc. either in the cadre restructuring or independent of it to retire our officers in PB-4: IRS officers of CBEC were granted parity with their common entry counterparts of CBDT in last cadre restructuring and they are going to get parity with other better placed common entry group ‘A’ counterparts including the best placed IAS in the ongoing one. But no parity with common entry counterparts like CBDT, CSS etc. is being granted to Central Excise Superintendents & Inspectors. The position of stagnation of these officers is so horrible that they, including reserved categories, are retiring merely in a PB2 (lowest gazetted post) with only single promotion throughout career while their common entry counterparts are easily reaching PB4 levels (Addl. Commissioner/Commissioner & Director/Joint Secretary) getting 5/6 promotions. 1992 Examiners as well as Inspectors of Income Tax have long back entered group ‘A’ and 1997 Assistants have long back entered to senior group ‘A’ while our Inspector of 1975 is still waiting even to enter the junior group ‘A’. 1985 Assistant of Rajya Sabha Secretariat has long back been promoted to the post of Director. This parity is very well possible by framing the RR’s in the manner as requested in the preceding para or by adopting the measures like time bound promotions/scales (grant of time scale to our officers after every 7 years was also recommended by CBEC to 6th CPC but now the same CBEC is back tracking on the issue when CBEC can do it itself), notional promotions, creation of supernumerary posts, creation of separate service (this was also recommended by CBEC to 6th CPC but now the same CBEC is back tracking on the issue), direct promotion to higher post/s, upgradation of posts, in-situ promotions (requiring no creation of posts) or any other specific measure/s including batch to batch non-functional financial upgradation (on the lines of DOPT OM No. AB.14017/64/2008-Estt.(RR) dt. 24.04.09 granting NFFU to other group ‘A’ officers at par with IAS) at par with the best placed counterparts of CSS. Accordingly, necessary measures may kindly be devised for acutely stagnated Central Excise Superintendents & Inspectors to grant them parity with their common entry counterparts enabling them also to retire in PB-4. This will boost their morals and it’ll, in turn, will have a very positive impact on the govt. revenues.
4. Regularization of all adhoc promotions All the promotions to the post of Asstt. Commissioner have been made on adhoc basis since 1997 and need immediate regularisation. No regular DPC has been conducted to regularise these long pending ad hoc promotions which may kindly be conducted at an early date based on the RR’s in force on the date of DPC meant for regularisation.
5. Promotion of Group ‘B’ Gazetted Executive Officers directly to STS like CSS etc.:The most of group ‘B’ gazetted officers in the Central as well as State governments are being promoted to a senior group ‘A’ post including CSS, CPWD etc. while Central Excise Superintendents are being promoted (if any) merely to a junior group ‘A’ post. The necessary steps may kindly be taken to promote our Superintendents directly to a senior group ‘A’ post too. This was also recommended to the 6th CPC by the CBEC as one of the measures but now the same CBEC is back tracking on the issue.
6. Implementation of para 7.15.24 of 6th CPC report: The 6th CPC has recommended to follow the well established parity between the Central Excise Superintendents etc. and the Chief Enforcement Officers under the same Department of Revenue. The Chief Enforcement Officers (redesignated as Asstt. Director) have been placed under the initial grade pay of 5400/- while the Central Excise Superintendents merely in 4800/-. It is also worth to submit that the analogous counterparts of Central Excise Superintendents in CBI, IB etc. have already been placed in the equivalent pay scale to grade pay of 5400/- in PB3 since 1986. The Central Excise Superintendents may, therefore, also kindly be granted the equivalent grade pay/pay scale w.e.f. the date of the grant of the same to above counterparts. Relevant portion of the report of 6th CPC is enclosed as Annexure-I.
Not only it, pay scale of Central Excise Superintendents was enhanced from Rs. 6500-10500/- to Rs. 7500-12000/- w.e.f. 21.04.04 instead of 01.01.96, whereas Superintendents of Narcotics were placed under the same enhanced pay scale w.e.f. 01.01.96 with all the consequential benefits. It is submitworthy that the Superintendents of Central Excise as well as Narcotics were the part of common seniority list and being promoted to the same post of Asstt. Commissioner under same recruitment rules till very recent time. It is also, therefore, requested that the Superintendents of Central Excise may also be placed under the enhanced pay scale of Rs. 7500-12000/- w.e.f. 01.01.96 with all the consequential benefits.
7. Posting of Association functionaries: The main office bearers were never to be transferred to out of administrative/Association headquarters until willing but they have been started to be transferred even to out of zone all of a sudden. By it, the staff welfare activities of the Association and employee grievances redressal mechanism are affected adversely due to the delinking of Association functionaries with the administration & staffside both. It is, therefore, requested that at least 3 office bearers (including Unit President and General Secretary) as per the request of the Association may kindly be retained at the headquarters office of the Association/administration in consonance of the letters No. 2/7/88-CS(IV) dt. 19.08.08 and No. 9/34/87-JCA dt. 08.03.88 both of DOPT (both enclosed as Annexure-II & III). It is also submitworthy that the Association functionaries are not being transferred even building to building in same city in CSS while they are being transferred even from one zone/Commissionerate to another zone/Commissionerate in our case.
8. Use of extended panel to grant promotions: No extended panel was utilised at the time of the regularisation of the promotions vide Notification No. 30/2000 of CBEC issued vide F. No. A. 32012/8/2000-Ad.II(Pt.) Dt. 21.11.2000 of CBEC. The clarificatory DOPT OM No. 22011/4/98-Estt.(D) dt. 12.10.98 to DOPT OM No.22011/5/86-Estt. (D) dt. 10.4.89 says about the procedure to be followed for preparation of extended panel to benefit the serving officers in lieu of the retired/deceased ones. The provisions of extended panel were never followed by CBEC despite of the repeated requests. The said provisions may kindly be implemented in r/o all earlier DPC’s including above mentioned regularisation and the forthcoming DPC’s including DPC for long pending regularisation since 1997.
9. Promotion of all Inspectors CE, PO’s & Examiners of same year to the same level:Such proposal was mentioned as under examination during the cadre restructuring presentation on 18.01.11 by CBEC but nothing has happened till date despite of the repeated requests. The CBEC may kindly be directed to take immediate steps in the matter.
10. Promoting all the Superintendents who have completed 1.5 times of qualifying service on the lines of CSS: In 1999, all Section Officers completing 1.5 times of qualifying service were promoted on ‘in-situ basis’ to the senior group ‘A’ post of Under Secretary for removal of their stagnation. Keeping in view the extraordinarily acute stagnation of the Central Excise Superintendents, all Superintendents completing 1.5 times of qualifying service may also kindly be promoted either on regular basis or in-situ basis. It is worth to submit that all of such officers are already drawing the salary of the higher post/s. It will, thus, require no expenditure. No posts/vacancies will also be required for in-situ promotions.
11. Arrears of pay since 1986: The pay scale of the Inspectors of CBI, IB etc. has been enhanced since 01.01.86. The CBEC also issued the orders for the grant of arrears under the signature of then DS, Sh. Dharmveer Gupta, vide F. No. A-26017/44/94-Ad II(A) Dt. 08.03.95 (enclosed herewith asAnnexure-IV) based on the Jabalpur CAT orders in OA No. 541 of 1994 but the implementation of the same is still awaited. The said CAT orders were never challenged by the government. It is also worth to mention that the most of the then Inspectors have become Superintendents today. The CBEC may kindly be directed to implement the said orders particularly keeping in view that there was no condition in the CAT orders to consult the Expenditure.
12. Seniority benefit on promotion to group ‘A’ in lieu of service rendered in group ‘B’:This benefit of seniority is already being given to the group ‘B’ gazetted officers in many of the Central Govt. departments including many services of Railways. The group ‘B’ gazetted officers belonging to the Provincial Civil Services enter into IAS with 4 years of seniority benefit in group ‘A’. The CBEC may kindly be directed to take necessary steps in the matter.
Encls: As above (Annexures I to IV).