Thursday, February 25, 2010

Highlights of the 2010-11 Railway Budget



The main highlights of the 2010-11 railway budget include:

: No increase in passenger fares

: Rs.100 reduction in freight per wagon for fertilisers and kerosene

: Free travel for cancer patients in 3rd AC classes

: Cost-sharing in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode in some gauge-conversion projects

: Further extension of Kolkata Metro on priority basis; stations to be named after Bahadur Shah Zafar, Tagore family

: Karmabhoomi trains to be introduced for migrant labour

: New Janmabhoomi train between Ahmedabad and Udhampur

: Special "Bharat Teertha" train to be run around India to commemorate Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birth anniversary

: Railway line to be extended from Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir

: Andaman and Nicobar Islands to get railway line from Port Blair to Diglipur

: Sikkim capital Gangtok to be connected by rail from Rangpo

: 2011 being 150th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, special train to be run from West Bengal to Bangladesh

: Gross earnings in 2009-10 estimated at Rs.88,281 crore

: Working expenditure in 2009-10 estimated at Rs.83,440 crore

: Expenses during 2010-11 estimated at Rs.87,100 crore

: Thrust on expansion in 2010-11 with allocation of Rs.4,411 crore

: Kashmir rail link to be extended to Sopore in the north of the valley

: Net profit of Rs.1,328 crore in 2009-10

: 10 automobile ancillary hubs to be created

: Twenty-two million energy saving CFLs for lighting distributed already

: Policy decision to employ one member of family whose land is requisitioned for railway projects

: North-south, east-west dedicated freight corridors to be created

: Construction of high-speed passenger rail corridors envisaged

: More multi-functional hospitals to be set up

: Educational facilities to be set up for children of 80,000 women families

: Special facilities to be established for gangmen

: Insurance facilities for licensed porters as part of railway's corporate social responsibility

: Centre for railway research to be established with Indian Institutes of Technology and Defence Research and Development Organisation

: Will involve unions in policy making

: Integral Coach Factory Chennai to be further modernised

: New wagon repair shop in Mumbai

: Design, development and testing centre for railway wheels at Bangalore

: Within five years, all unmanned level crossings to be manned

: Construction of more underpasses, besides road overbridges

: Greater coordination with state governments to protect railway property

: Security of women passengers to be improved

: Ex-servicemen to be employed in Railway Protection Force

: Five sports academies to be set up

: Astroturf to be provided for development of hockey

: Employment opportunities for sports persons

: Railways to be lead partner for Commonwealth Games

: Special drive to increase passenger amenities

: Upgrade of 94 stations

: Six new drinking water bottling plants in PPP mode

: Modern toilets at railway stations

: More ticketing centres to help the public

: Acquisition of cutting edge safety technology

: 1,000 route km to be created

: Special task force for clearing investment proposals in 100 days

: New business model to be created

: No privatisation of railways

: But greater participation of private sector

: 117 of 120 new trains for current fiscal to be flagged off

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ALLOWANCES ADMISSIBLE TO CHS OFFICERS



ALLOWANCES ADMISSIBLE TO CHS OFFICERS

Non Practicing Allowance (NPA)
CHS officers are granted Non Practicing Allowance at the rate of 25% ofbasic pay subject to condition that pay plus Non Practicing Allowance does not exceed Rs.29500/-p.m. vide this Ministry’s letter No. A.45011/11/97-CHS V dated 7.4.98. Non Practicing Allowance is treated as Pay for all service matters. In other words it is taken into account for computation of D.A., entitlement of T.A./D.A. and other allowances as well as for calculation of retirement benefits in terms of letter No. A.27023/1/87-CHS V dated 22.9.1987.

Reimbursement of Newspaper
In terms of letter No. Z.16023/2/95-CHS V dated 24.7.98 CHS officers are entitled to reimbursement of cost of Newspaper purchased by them at their residence in the following manner:
Level of CHS Officers Maximum number of Indian Newspaper
Director General of Health Services No limit
Additional D.G.H.S. or equivalent 03
Senior Administrative Grade 02
Below Senior Administrative Grade 01
Apart from the above mentioned allowances, CHS officers are granted all other allowances which are admissible to Central Govt. employees.

Residential Telephone
Vide Order No. Z.16023/2/95-CHS V dated 26.3.98 and 2.12.98, CHS officers in the scale of pay of Rs. 12000-16500 and above and 25% of officers working below the scale of pay of Rs. 12000-16500 are eligible for grant of residential telephone on functional basis.

Post Graduate Allowance
A medical graduate appointed to the post of Medical Officer or Senior Medical Officer including Chief Medical officer (Non-Functional Selection Grade) for which possession of a recognised post graduate qualification is not essential, are given over and above the pay admissible in the relevant scale, Post-Graduate allowance of Rs.300/- per month or 500/- per month, as the case may be, for possessing recognized Post-Graduate Diploma(s) or Post graduate degree respectively vide order No.A.45012/13/97-CHS V dated 5.10.98. This allowance is however, not admissible to deputationist.

Annual Allowance
With a view to encourage academic and research pursuits, CHS officers are granted Annual Allowance at the following rates:
(i) For Teaching, Non-Teaching, Public Health
and GDMOs having recognised PG qualification Rs. 500/- p.m.
(ii) For GDMOs without PG qualification Rs. 300/- p.m.


Conveyance Allowance
CHS officers working in hospitals, CGHS dispensaries and some institute e.g. Central Research Institute, Kasauli, National Institute of Communicable Diseases etc. are granted Conveyance Allowances for attending hospitals outside duty hours, paying domiciliary visits, collecting samples and visiting field centres and for performing other official duties respectively, at the following rates:
For those who maintain own Motor Car Rs.1650/- p.m.
For those who maintain own Scooter/ Motorcycle Rs. 540/- p.m.
For those who do not maintain either Car or Motorcycle/ Rs. 450/- p.m.
Scooter

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF NATIONAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE HELD ON 12TH DECEMBER, 2009



MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF NATIONAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE HELD ON 12TH DECEMBER, 2009

A meeting of the National Anomaly Committee (NAC) was held on 12th December, 2009 in Conference Room No.119, North Block, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Secretary(Personnel). A list of participants who attended the meeting is annexed.

2. At the outset, the Chairman welcomed the representatives of the Staff Side and Official Side. The Chairman stated that the recommendations of the 6th CPC have been implemented with certain modifications. While processing the Report, the Committee of Secretaries also consulted the Staff Side. As decided by the Cabinet at the time of approving the Report of the Sixth CPC, instructions have been issued for setting up of Anomaly Committees at the National as well as Departmental Level in order to ensure the resolution of anomalies. The Chairman informed that the National Anomaly Committee would discuss the anomalies common to two or more Departments and anomalies pertaining to common categories of employees. Further, he indicated his firm belief as well as conviction that all the anomalies can be resolved through the consultative process. The Chairman also informed that the next (46th) meeting of the National Council (JCM) has been scheduled to be held on 16th January,2010under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary. The Chairman also reiterated the resolve of the Government to maintain a sustained level of contact with the Staff Side in order to take forward the process of consensus building and collaborative endeavour to achieve the goals of higher productivity, efficiency and staff welfare. Thereafter, the Chairman invited the Leader and Secretary of Staff Side to say a few words.

3. Leader of the Staff Side Shri M. Raghaviah thanked the Chairman and conveyed the appreciation of the Staff Side for convening the meeting of the National Anomaly Committee. He further stated that the opening address of the Chairman conveyed the right message and stated that all anomalies can be resolved in a peaceful fashion. He thanked the Government for all the improvements over and above the recommendations of the 6th CPC and stated that there are certain areas where there is some unrest with respect to implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC and requested the Chairman that all such issues should be resolved as soon as possible. He once again thanked the Chairman and reiterated the resolve of the Staff Side for cordial and healthy industrial relations.

4. Secretary of the Staff Side Shri Umraomal Purohit reciprocated the sentiments expressed by the Chairman and indicated that all the anomalies can be resolved through mutual discussion. He also thanked the Chairman, for not only for convening the first meeting of the NAC at such a short notice, but also taking initiative in scheduling the next meeting of the National Council (JCM) on 16'~ January, 2010. He mentioned about the long delay in convening the meeting of the National Council but also stated that he hoped that from now onwards things would change for the better. Secretary, Staff Side drew the attention of the Chairman towards non-functioning I delays in holding the meetings of the Departmental Councils in various Ministries / Departments. Emphasizing the importance of the Departmental Councils in the Scheme of Joint Consultative 2 Machinery and Compulsory Arbitration, Secretary of the Staff Side stated that some way out has to be found to ensure that Departmental Councils work properly in all Ministries/Departments and its meetings are held regularly. While complimenting the Government for timely implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC, Secretary of the Staff Side stated that the definition of the anomaly which was adopted earlier has been altered this time which may lead to certain problems. He also stated that the Report of the 6'h CPC is not like the earlier reports and the new format recommended by the 6th CPC is being gradually adopted. He also referred to certain issues like Risk Allowance (RA), Patient Care Allowance and Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) for pensioners and requested that final orders on these issues may be issued only after discussing the same with the Staff Side. Secretary of the Staff Side also drew the attention of the Chairman towards certain benefits like maternity leave1 child care leave and stated that the same have not been extended as yet to the women industrial employees and requested for early action in this regard. Secretary of the Staff Side also complimented the Government with respect to the setting of the Fast Track Committee and stated that the Fast Track Committee has resolved long standing problems of the employees. He once again thanked the Chairman for convening the meeting of the NAC and for giving him an opportunity to express his feelings.

5. The Chairman stated that Government also understand that the report of the 6th CPC is different and was of the view that there is a need for greater dissemination of information on there commendations of the 6th CPC. Accordingly, he requested the Staff Side for a list of questions/issues on which more information is required so that the Government can prepare a list of Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) and put the same on the web site for, increasing awareness etc. The Chairman also assured to take necessary steps to ensure that meetings of the Departmental Councils of various Ministries/Departments are held regularly. Regarding the definition of an anomaly, the Chairman opined that this should not lead to any problems and stated that official side is open to examining the matter if it is found that there is indeed a case. The Chairman also requested the Staff Side to forward issues which could have become anomalies had the said para not been deleted for further examination of the same.

6. Thereafter, the anomalies as per the agenda were taken up for discussion: Agenda Item Nos.1 to 4 - Anomaly in pay fixation in case of merger of various pay scales As the anomalies mentioned at item No.1 to 4 represented similar items, it was decided to club the four items together. The Staff Side demanded that since the pre-revised Pay Scales of Rs.5000-80001-, Rs.5500-90001- were merged with the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500, the pay of the incumbents holding the pay scales of Rs.5000-80001- and Rs.5500-9000 should have been fixed with effect from 1 .I ,2006 by applying the multiplying factor of 1.86 at Rs.65001-.The Staff Side stated that the intention of the Pay Commission was to upgrade the two pay scales and merge them with the higher pay scale of Rs.65001-. Therefore, denying the benefit of higher pay scale to the concerned employees is not justified. Joint Secretary(Pers), Department of Expenditure stated that this issue was raised by the Staff Side before the Committee of Secretaries set up by the Government to process the Report of the Sixth CPC. Further, JS (Per) informed that pay fixation in the revised pay structure has been done strictly in accordance with the fixation tables given in the Report of the 6th CPC (with suitable modifications due to change 3 in fitment factor from Rs.1.74 to 1.86) and therefore, this could not be termed as an anomaly . She further stated that all the employees in the pre-revised Pay Scales of Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500-90001- were given the uniform fitment benefit @ 40% of the maximum of the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500, i.e., 40% of Rs.105001- as Grade Pay. In case the merger of the pre-revised pay scales of Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500-9000 with Rs.6500-10500 had not been recommended by the Pay Commission, then the fitment benefit granted to the Government servants who were in the pre-revised scales of Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500-9000 would have been much lesser i.e. 40% of Rs.8000 and Rs.9000 respectively. JS (Per) also clarified that the paras in the text of the Report should be read in conjunction with the fitment tables as they are not independent of each other. The fitment tables have been incorporated for the first time in a Report of the Central Pay Commission and are very much part of its recommendations. However, the Staff Side insisted that from the phraseology of the report of the 6'h CPC, it is evident that the intention of the Pay Commission was to upgrade the two pay scales and pay fixation done merely on the basis of the fixation table given in the report of the 6th CPC cannot be an excuse to justify the denial of benefit on this ground to the concerned employees. The Staff Side reiterated that it was an anomaly precisely for the reason that vide Para 2.2.19, the 6th CPC has stated unambiguously that where pre revised pay scales have been merged it has been done by extending the minimum prescribed for the highest pay scale with which the other pay scales are being merged. However, the pay band has been fixed with reference to the minimum of the lowest pay scales which have been merged. The Chairman, while reiterating that the tables are very much part of the recommendations of the Pay Commission, suggested that Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure may look into this issue further.

Agenda Item No.5 - Revised Pay Rules

(i) The Staff Side stated that since the 6'h CPC has introduced the new system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay, there was a lot of confusion among the employees in deciding about the option for switching over to the revised pay scales. Accordingly, Staff Side demanded that the first option exercised may not be treated as final and one more option should be given to the employees. Officers of Department of Expenditure informed that all the cases of revision of option in relaxation of CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 referred to them had been agreed to by them. However, JS (Pers) agreed to look into the matter regarding delegation of powers to the administrative ministries to allow the options.

(ii) Regarding reckoning of Special Allowances and Qualification Pay at the time of fixation of pay in the revised pay structure, the Staff Side demanded that the same should have been taken into account while fixing the revised pay of the concerned Government servants. JS (Per) stated that this was not provided for in the CCS (RP) Rules, 2008. In this context, Members of Staff Side demanded that Rule should be modified to allow reckoning of Special Allowances Qualification Pay. JS (Per) enquired about the procedure followed at the time of implementation of Fifth Pay Commission's recommendations. Responding to this, Staff Side stated that an item pertaining to reckoning of such allowances/pay for the purpose of pay fixation after Fifth CPC was pending in the Standing Committee of the National Council. In this context, JS (Per) observed that CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 have no provision for this purpose and there is no precedent on the matter since the item raised by Staff Side after implementation of Fifth 4CPC's recommendations is still pending in the Standing Committee, logically the present issue could be taken up depending on the final decision on the item pending in the Standing Committee.

(iii) It was noted that this part has already been discussed as it relates to agenda item Nos.1 to 4.

(iv) Regarding anomaly in fixation of pay between direct recruits and promotees, the Staff Side argued that while applying Rule 8 of the CCS (RP) Rules, 2008, the pay of direct recruits and new entrants is fixed at a higher stage when compared to the existing employees who were promoted in the same grade. The Staff Side demanded that this anomaly should be rectified by incorporating a provision that in case after 1.1.2006, if a promotee's pay is getting fixed at a stage lower than that of a direct recruit as given in Section 2 of the First Schedule of the CCS (RP) Rules, then the pay of the promotee should be fixed at the same stage as that of a direct recruit/ new entrant so that the existing employees pay is protected at par with the pay given to a new entrant. JS (Pers) stated that the pay of the new entrants is being fixed strictly in accordance with the principles laid down by the 6'h CPC in this regard. In case where a promotee and post-1.1.2006 direct recruit are borne on the same seniority list and the senior is drawing less basic pay than the junior, the pay of the senior can be stepped up. The Staff Side argued that it was not the intention of the 6'h CPC to grant higher pay to direct recruitees vis-à-vis promotees and also stated that stepping up of pay is not being allowed in many Ministries1 Departments in such matters. The Staff Side further stated that the pay granted to the fresh entrant is the deemed minimum pay of the post and no promotees can be fixed below the minimum pay of the post to which he is promoted on regular basis. The Chairman suggested to the Department of Expenditure to re-examine the matter.

(v) Regarding the date of annual increment, the Staff Side argued that since the date of increment of all the Central Government employees has been fixed as 1st of July of every year, the employees whose increment dates are between 1st February 2006 and 1st June 2006 have to wait for more than 12 months for their first increment after the implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC. The Staff Side argued that this situation is quite anomalous since this will affect the employees who retire during the period between 1st February to 3oth June every year. They will suffer a loss of one increment perpetually and thus affecting their pension. The Staff Side demanded that the employees, whose increment falls between 1st February to 1'st June, 2006, may be given an increment on 01.01.2006 as a one-time measure. JS (Per) intimated that as per the recommendation of Sixth CPC in the matter, which has been accepted by the Government, now there is only one day in the year, i.e., 1st of July of every year, for the purpose of granting annual increments. Further, it was stated that as far as cases of promotions that took place between 1st of January and 30th of June are concerned, instructions have already been issued that in such cases, Government servants have the option to have their pay fixed under FR 22(l)(a)(I). As per this, they will be granted two increments on 1'' July, one annual increment , and the other on account of promotion. Regarding employees who retire during the period between lSt February to 30th June every year, it was intimated that even prior to 01.01.2006, there were cases where the 5 date of superannuation of a Government servant could be just one day prior to their DNI. Even at that time, there was no system to grant an additional increment to Government servants in such cases. Regarding the demand of the Staff Side that the employees whose increment falls between 1st February to 1st June, 2006 may be given an increment on 01.01.2006 as a one-time measure, JS (Per) stated that the issue will be looked into keeping in view its repercussions and a final view on the matter will be taken after factoring the likely repercussions. The Staff Side further stated that the Revised Pay Rules in relaxation of F.R. are meant only for the purpose of fixing the pay in the revised Pay scales. It has no application thereafter. It is on this specific understanding that the staff side had demanded the one time relaxation as otherwise the one time relaxation would not address similar issues of future recruitees and promotees. The Official Side contended that the Revised Pay Rules would override the provisions of the Fundamental Rules permanently. The Staff Side then contended that an increment has to be granted on completion of one year service. It must not be postponed except on award of a penalty on initiation of disciplinary proceedings. After some further discussion, the official side agreed to reconsider this matter.

(vi) The Staff Side agreed to drop this part relating to deduction of tax from salary.

(vii) The Staff Side stated that as per the existing scheme the temporary status employees have been granted the minimum of the corresponding scale of pay of regular employees (with benefit of annual increments). Therefore it would be necessary that these employees if they are non matriculates are given the requisite training and the benefit of fixation of pay at Rs.7000/- (with grade pay of Rs.1800 with effect from 01 .01.2006. The Secretary, Staff Side pointed out that in respect of those who have retired/die during the period between 1.1.2006 and 1.9.2008 it would not be possible to impart training to them. He, therefore, suggested, referring to his letter in this regard that they may be given the benefit of Grade Pay of Rs.1800 with effect from 1.01.2006. Regarding granting of temporary status to casual labourers, JS(Pers) informed that Department of Expenditure had already rendered their advice in the matter to JS(E), DoPT. Further action is to be taken by DoPT.

Agenda Item Nos.6 & 7-Benefit on Promotion

The Staff Side stated that prior to implementation of the recommendations of the 61h CPC while on promotion, the employees used to get the benefit of almost two increments subject to a minimum benefit of Rs.1001-. However, after the implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC, the promotion benefit is restricted to one increment, i.e., three percent of the lower pay band and grade pay. The Staff Side demanded that there should be at least a benefit of two increments while on promotion. JS (Pers), while reminding that this issue was also raised by the Staff Side before the Committee of Secretaries set up by the Government to process the Report of the Sixth CPC, stated that this was not an anomaly in terms of the definition of the anomaly. Further, she stated that as per the recommendations of Sixth CPC, in addition to 3% increment, the difference of grade pay also is given to the employee while on promotion and hence there is no justification in the demand of the Staff Side. The Staff Side argued that in the case of PB-I, the difference of grade pay is Rs.1001- to Rs.4001- only and in PB-2, the 6 difference of grade pay is Rs.200 to Rs.400- only. Therefore the Staff Side demanded that two increments while on promotion are fully justified. However, JS (Per) stated that since this was not an anomaly, Staff Side should raise this matter outside the forum of National Anomaly Committee

Agenda Item No.8 - Re-fixation of pension and family pension

Director (Pension) informed that the Dearness Relief is admissible toall categories of Central Government pensioners1 family pensioners. Therefore, it was agreed that the item may be treated as closed.

Agenda Item No.9 - Parity in Pension

Regarding anomaly in the pension for Government servants, who retired / died in harness between 1.1.2006 and 1.9.2008, Director(Pension) informed that Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare has already clarified vide its 0.M dated 11/12/2008 that the provision of payment of pension at 50% of the emoluments (pay last drawn or 50% of average emoluments received during the last ten months, whichever is more beneficial to the retiring employee, shall be applicable to all Government servants retiring on or after 1.1.2006. Therefore, it was agreed that the item may be treated as closed. The Staff side also drew the attention of the Chairman towards difficulties being faced by many pensioners in getting the second instalment of the arrears of pension. The Chairman assured the staff side that he would take up the matter with the Department of Financial Services and also instructed Director (Pensions) to ensure that the problem is sorted out at the earliest.

Agenda Item No.10 – Commutation of Pension

The Staff Side dropped this item

Agenda Item No.15, 16 & 17 - Parity in Pension to all Pensioners

Regarding parity in pension of all pre 1996 retirees with those who retired on or after 1.1.1996, the Staff Side stated that the pensioners were not given parity in pension irrespective of the date from which they had retired. The Government in the past have accepted the principle that there shall be parity in pension irrespective of the date from which they had retired. The benefit was given while implementing the 6th CPC recommendations. The Staff Side further stated that the 6'h CPC in para 5.1.47 has stated that in order to maintain the existing modified parity between present and future retirees it will be necessary to allow the same fitment benefit as is being recommended for the existing Government employees. However, while implementing the 6th CPC, the pensioners who retired prior to 01.01.2006 were given only 40% of the basic pension where as the serving employees were given 40% of the maximum of their pay scale. The Staff Side, therefore, demanded that the pensioners should be granted 50% of the Grade Pay in the scale from which they had retired by way of fitment benefit and not 40% of basic pension. JS (Pers) informed that as per the recommendations of Sixth CPC, modified parity had already been granted to all pre-01.01.2006 pensioners. Consequent upon the implementation of Sixth CPC's recommendations regarding pension, all pre-01.01.2006 pensioners have been granted fitment 7 benefit equal to 40% of their pre-revised basic pension, subject to the revised pension, in no case, being fixed lower than fifty percent of the sum of the minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay thereon corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. At this, the Staff Side argued that a reading of the recommendation of Sixth Pay Commission on the matter indicated that the intent of the Pay Commission was to grant modified parity to pre-1.1.2006 pensioners by allowing same fitment benefit as is being recommended to the existing Government employees subject to the provision that revised pension shall not be lower than 50% of the minimum of the pay in the pay band prescribed for the grade pay and the sum of the grade pay corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. On the other hand, the Government had approved modified parity with reference to the minimum of the pay band plus the grade pay which is not consistent with the recommendation of the Sixth CPC. Officers of Department of Expenditure stated that this was not the intent of the recommendation of the Pay Commission. After some discussions, the staff side requested the official side to examine the matter once again.

Agenda Item No. 27 - Constant Attendance Allowance

Director (Pensions) informed the Members of the Committee that suitable instruction have already been issued vide O.M. No.451612008-P&PW dated the 7'h December, 2009. Therefore, it was agreed that the item may be treated as closed.

7. It was decided that the remaining items shall be taken up for discussion in the next meeting of the National Anomaly Committee.

Source: AIRF

http://www.airfindia.com/Airf/MinutesofNAC_11.02.09.pdf

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Reimburse medical expenses up to Rs 50,000



'Reimburse medical expenses up to Rs 50,000'

While industry is apprehensive of a possible rollback of the stimulus package, there could be some cheering news in the forthcoming Union Budget for salaried employees. The government is likely to increase the exemption limit for reimbursement against medical and travel expenses. A hike in the exemption limit for gratuity payment from the present Rs 3.5 lakh is also being considered.

At present, reimbursement of medical expenses up to Rs 15,000 is tax-free. Any reimbursement above that is counted as income and taxed. Similarly, transport allowance is tax-free only up Rs 800 a month. These exemption limits were fixed 10 to 15 years back. The income-tax department is now considering an adequate increase to at least ensure that inflation in the years since is neutralised. In the last 10 years or so, the average price of commodities has almost doubled.

Tax experts feel the present limit for reimbursement of medical expenses should be increased to Rs 50,000. Government sources refused to give any revised figure but said the matter is under consideration.

Senior tax consultant Subhash Lakhotia showed another anomaly in the medical treatment provision. He said that if an employer incurs expenses on travel and stay abroad of the employee or any member of his family for medical treatment, then such expenditure is not treated as a perquisite. But this facility will be available only if the gross total income of the employee is below Rs 2 lakh. Due to this provision, the exemption in respect of medical treatment abroad is lost and cannot be used by any employee. Most employees who are entitled to this facility have income of more than Rs 2 lakh. To make this provision effective, experts feel, the government should change it to enable more employees to avail of it.

Similarly, in 1997, the government had introduced a provision to allow an exemption of Rs 800 per month for a salaried employee on account of transport allowance granted by the employer. This transport allowance is given to meet the expenses for commuting between the employee’s residence and office. But, as the cost of transport has increased, the limit of Rs 800 has become inadequate, said Lakhotia. Therefore, the government is learnt to be considering an increase in the limit.
Source:Economic Times

Budget 2010: What the FM is likely to do...





Budget 2010: What the FM is likely to do

Despite the fact that the annual budgetary exercise has slowly been losing its significance, Budget 2010-11 is seen to be extremely significant.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has his hands full. He faces a tough challenge as he has to try and present a balanced Budget; one that will appease the aam aadmi and also not hamper growth.

And some of the reasons why the Budget 2010 will be extremely significant the impending are:

The Direct Taxes Code might come into force from the next fiscal year. The government is struggling to keep inflation and food price rise under control. The fiscal deficit is already at a distressing high. So should he push for fiscal consolidation or go in for big social sector and other spending?

Should he keep subsidies intact or should he bite the bullet and go in for tough reforms?

Should he push for faster growth without upsetting the common man, while still removing the excess liquidity in the system?

Should he continue with or withdraw the economic stimulus packages? Or should he do it only partially?

So what is it that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to do? Well, here are some views culled from various new agencies, newspapers and experts on what the February 26 Union Budget for 2010-11 might have in store for you.

Income tax rates to be lowered?

All individuals want and expect reduction in personal taxes. But views on whether this will happen or not are varied. Some experts believe there might be no changes in personal income tax rates, while others seem feel that the finance minister may increase the slabs for personal income tax. The current slab of Rs 1.6 lakh (Rs 160,000) for taxable income may be increase to Rs 2.5 lakh (Rs 250,000) for men. There will be suitable increments to women and senior citizens. Income above this slab is taxed at 10% till the next slab.

The second slab may be increase to Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) from the current Rs 3 lakh (Rs 300,000) for the taxation at 20%.

The third slab is expected to be raised to Rs 25 lakh (Rs 2.5 million) for the 30% tax rate. This is from an existing slab of Rs 5 lakh (Rs 500,000). The highest slab is expected to occur at Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million). This is an increase from the current slab of Rs 10 lakh.

Some economists feel that the deduction limit of Rs 100,000 under section 80C may be increased to Rs 250,000, to encourage the common man to resort to savings.

A Times of India report said that the government might also increase the exemption limit for reimbursement against medical and travel expenses. Currently, reimbursement of medical expenses up to Rs 15,000 is tax-free: this might be raised to around Rs 25,000. Transport allowance is tax-free up to Rs 800 a month: this could be raised to Rs.2,500 per month

Another conjecture is that the interest paid on home loans which is currently not taxed up to Rs 150,000 might be increased to Rs 250,000, in another bid to keep the common man happy. However, many economists say that this is unlikely to happen.

The finance minister might reduce wealth tax to 0.25 per cent as suggested in the New Direct Taxes Code from the current 1 per cent, said an Economic Times report.

Corporate Tax might be reduced

Reports indicate that corporate tax rate might be lowered to 30 per cent in the Budget 2010-11, as a precursor to the New Direct Taxes Code that has recommended cutting it down to 25 per cent.

The stock markets too will be closely following the FM's proposals to see if he cuts corporate tax or removes corporate surcharge thereby helping boost corporate profitability. This move might prove to be a big booster dose for companies and the stock markets.

Fiscal consolidation; economic stimulus rollback

Mot people believe that with the economy back on an even keel and almost out of a slowdown, the indirect tax rate may be recalibrated to the pre-stimulus levels. Thus, the finance minister is seen as rolling back the stimulus.

Many economists however believe that a rollback of the economic stimulus or increase in tax rates might have a bad effect on the economy and might push it back into the quagmire of recession.

Chances are that the finance minister will partially roll back the stimulus packages leading to a rise in excise duties.

The government may take the first step towards fiscal consolidation by partially rolling back tax cuts given to the industry last year. The service tax rate may be restored to 12 per cent while excise duty could be increased marginally.

A first step towards withdrawing the post-crisis fiscal stimulus may be taken in the Union Budget for 2010-11, with an increase in the Cenvat rate for excise duty by 2 percentage points.

The government is likely to extend the 2 per cent interest subsidy given to exporters on rupee export credit from March 31 to December 2010.

The packages include assured employment programmes, infrastructure programmes related to roads, easy access to loans for companies, less interest rate on loans by reducing the CRR and SL

R. It is expected that the same support will continue this year too. One of the key things that can go against the continued stimulus is the very high inflation.

Food inflation

With food prices shooting through the roof and crippling the aam aadmi, the finance minister is under huge pressure to take steps to control runaway inflation in tandem with the Reserve Bank of India.

The opposition parties too are stalling the business of Parliament over the issue of price rise.

Currently, food inflation is dangerously close to 20 per cent. This has left a huge hole in the common man's pocket and a big dent in the government's image.

Thus reining in high inflation will be a major challenge for the finance minister.

The budget is likely to implement the Congress' poll promise of a Food Security Bill, apart from increasing funds for schemes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Service Tax may rise

The finance minister might increase service tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent. This will lead to a rise in the cost of over 109 services, such as beauty salons, health and fitness clubs and rent-a-car services, said a Hindustan Times report.

The government is aiming at service tax collections to the tune of Rs 75,000 crore (Rs 750 billion) for 2010-11.

Increase in Gratuity Limit

Already given the go ahead by a group of Ministers, the gratuity limit at the time of retirement may be increased to Rs 10 lakh from the current Rs 3.5 lakh (Rs 350,000). This is definitely less than the 'No Upper Limit', requested by the salaried class. But the increase in limit is much better than the archaic Rs 3.5 lakh.

This is definitely a blessing for people who are retiring. Many a times, with the higher income that the Central and State government employees enjoy, at the time of retirement, people are not getting the full amount that has accrued in their gratuity account

Increase in self assessment slab

The self assessment slab is currently at Rs 40 lakh (Rs 4 million) for professionals and business people. This slab may be increased to Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million). This will help to reduce the accounting burden for the self employed and professionals.

PAN card linkage

The PAN (Personal Assessment Number) card is currently the prime card required for any financial transaction.

However, there are a number of missing links in the implementation. For example, bank deposits in different banks (private and public sector banks and cooperative banks) are not linked. This has been used (misused) by tax payers and tax evaders by having a number of accounts in different banks to avoid tax on interest.

The same is happening with mutual funds with different folio numbers to avoid getting a KYC (Know Your Client) certification.

Making a PAN card mandatory has not been enough. The accounts also need to be integrated based on the PAN card.

The forthcoming budget may make this implementation mandatory. More than any other change in the income tax, this will be the biggest change, if implemented, as it is a disruptive change compared to the other marginal changes.

Double tax avoidance treaties

The Budget is expected to lay down a plan to plug loopholes in the double tax avoidance treaties, which cost the Indian exchequer billions in tax revenues, said Business Standard.

Jobs

Job creation schemes might be taken up on a bigger scale, although reports indicate that the finance minister might not increase the budget allocation to the NREGA substantially.

Defence

The defence ministry is expecting a 15-20 percent increase in it budget allocation for the next fiscal due to rise in expenditure on its modernisation drive and commitments following pay review, according to a report in The Financial Express.

Emphasis on social sector schemes

Social sector schemes -- including those related to health, education, infrastructure and development projects -- are likely to figure prominently in the finance minister's Budget proposals this year.

However, with the fiscal deficit getting out of control, the FM will have to a tightrope walk to strike a balance between controlling expenditure and providing funds for the social sector.

Divestment

Last year's budget was a major indicator of the government's view on divestment. With the Left parties no longer holding the government to ransom, it is likely that the finance minister might adopt an aggressive line on divestment of public sector units.

Agriculture reforms

Like the year before last when the then finance minister P Chidambaram waived off farmers' loans giving a major boost to the agriculture sector, this time too the government is keen to help the sector grow further.

There are indications that the finance minister might partially give in to the farmers' demands and provide some subsidies, although this might not be a move that is sustainable or based on economic logic.

GST implementation

This is a much talked-about and often-postponed implementation. There are a number of benefits from the implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax). The major benefit for the common man is the potential reduction in prices of products. The reason being the tax burden in the form of multiples levels of taxes on products and services will come down.

The government will also benefit because more companies and services can be brought under the tax net. So the government will get lesser tax from more number of people leading to higher income and greater compliance. It is hoped that this budget will give a clear date for the implementation of GST.

Income tax reforms objectives & progress

Overall the reforms related to income tax are to simplify the process of paying/collecting taxes, to expand the tax payers base so that the burden of tax is reduced and spread over many.

The direction taken by the authorities is on the right track however the speed till now is slow. The expectation from the forthcoming budget based on the pre-budget discussion is that there may be a few block buster changes.

Reforms in foreign investment

Reforms in the form of greater foreign investment in the financial services industry is expected from this budget -- insurance, for example. It is also expected that foreign investment in print media would be allowed at least to a small extent.

It is expected that foreign investment will also be allowed in the education sector. This will help to bring quality international education at affordable costs in India itself.

Safety of the student is another major benefit considering the physical pains that our students are undergoing in Australia.

For the economy, this can be a double benefit for our foreign exchange: one, investment will come in; two, outflow of foreign exchange due to students going abroad for higher education will come down.
Source: Business Rediff

Monday, February 22, 2010

Scheme for Compassionate Appointment – Relative Merit Points and Procedure for selection

No. 37-36/2004-SPB-1/C. Government of India
Ministry of Communication & IT
Department of Posts
SPB-1/C. Section
Dak Bhawan, Parliament Street,
New Delhi – 110001
No. 37-36/2004-SPB-I/C Dated 20.01.2010

Sub: - Scheme for Compassionate Appointment – Relative Merit Points and Procedure for selection

The objective of the Scheme for Compassionate Appointment is to grant appointment on compassionate grounds to a dependent family member of a Government servant dying in harness or who is retired on medical grounds, thereby leaving his family in penury and without any means of livelihood. It is to relieve the family of the Government servant concerned from financial destitution and to help it get over the emergency. Keeping, I view the objective of the Scheme, the existing instructions relating to compassionate Appointment have time and again been reviewed/modified/simplified so that the system finally derived at shall be more transparent, efficient and uniform in nature.

The efficacy of the Scheme is based on its transparency. It is this aspect, which is foremost and hence while considering a request for appointment on Compassionate grounds by a Committee, a balanced and objective assessment of the financial condition of the family has to be made taking into consideration its assets and liabilities and all other relevant factors such as the presence of earning member, size of the family, ages of the children and the essential needs of the family etc. This is done to assess the degree of indigence among all the applicants considered for compassionate appointment within the prescribed ceiling of 5% of the direct recruitment vacancies.

The existing position has been reviewed in this Department and it has been decided by the competent authority that to achieve the objective of the scheme of the Compassionate Appointment and to ensure complete transparency, merits of the cases can be conveniently decided by allocating points to the applicants based on various attributes indicated in the references of DOP&T from time to time. Accordingly the Department has worked out a system of allocation of points to various attributes based on a hundred point-scale as indicated in the tables below: -

(A) FAMILY PENSION (BASIC EXCLUDING DA & ALLOWANCES)


S.No. Points Proposed slab for Department of Posts
1 20 Upto 5000
2 18 5001 - 8000
3 16 8001 - 11000
4 14 11001 - 14000
5 12 14001 - 17000
6 10 17001 - 20000
7 8 20001 - 23000
8 6 Above 23000


(b)Terminal benefits (DCRG, GPF, CGEGIS, Leave encashment & Pension Commutation)

S.No. Points Proposed slab for Department of Posts
1 10 Upto 140000
2 9 140001 - 168000
3 8 168001 - 196000
4 7 196001 - 224000
5 6 224001 - 252000
6 5 252001 - 280000
7 4 280001 - 308000
8 3 308001 - 336000
9 2 336001 - 364000
10 1 364001 - 420000
11 0 420001 & above


(c)Monthly income of earning members and income from property

S.No. Points Proposed slab for Department of Posts
1 5 No Income
2 4 2500 or less
3 3 2501 - 3500
4 2 3501 - 4500
5 1 4501 - 5500
6 0 5500 & above


(d) Moveable/Immovable Property

S.No. Points Proposed slab for Department of Posts
1 10 Nil
2 8 Upto 150000
3 6 150001 - 300000
4 3 300001 - 600000
5 1 600001 - 1000000
6 0 above 1000000


(e)No of dependents - Points

Unmarried daughters Points
(i) 3 and above 15
(ii) 2 10
(iii) 1 5
(vi) None 0


(g)No of Minor children - Points

Minor Children Points
(i) 3 and above 15
(ii) 2 10
(iii) 1 5
(vi) None 0


(h)Left over Service - Points

Left over service Points
(i) Over 20 years 10
(ii) Over 15 & 20 years 8
(iii) Over 10 & Upto 15 years 6
(vi) Over 5 & 10 years 4
(v)0 - 5 years 2


IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, CASES WHERE THE WIFE OF THE DECEASED OFFICIAL HAS APPLIED FOR COMPASSIONATE APPOINTMENT FOR HERSELF, SHE SHALL GET 15 ADDITIONAL POINTS AS GRACE POINTS. THIS WILL BE IN LINE WITH THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE THAT THE WIDOW NEEDS TO BE GIVEN PREFERENCE FOR COMPASSIONATE APPOINTMENT.

The above system of weightage not only awards objectivity to the entire method but also ensured complete transparency and uniformity in the selection process. The above method should be strictly followed with immediate effect, keeping in view the instructions issued by the Department of Personnel & Training from time to time.

This has the approval of Secretary (Posts)


Sd/- (B. P. Sridevi)
Director (Staff)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Army officers held for clearing substandard equipment



CBI arrested the three for facilitating the supply of substandard non-skid chains to the Army worth Rs 1.58 crore in 2006

Three Army officers were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation-Anti Corruption Bureau (CBI-ACB) on Wednesday for facilitating the supply of substandard non-skid chains to the Army worth Rs 1.58 crore in 2006.

Jaywantrao Yadavrao Pawar, A Prabhakaran and Fayazoddin were produced before the district court where they were remanded to police custody for two days. Pawar is the deputy director general (administration), directorate general of quality assurance, Ministry of Defence in New Delhi, Prabhakaran is joint controller of quality assurance, heavy vehicles in Chennai and Fayazoddin retired as group officer, vehicle quality assurance wing in Pune.

Subash Chandra Gupta, additional superintendent of police, CBI-ACB said, “In December 2007, the CBI registered a case against five accused including Pawar, the then officiating controller of quality assurance, Ahmednagar on allegations of supply of substandard non-skid chains by Sunil Sharma, co-accused in the case, to the Indian army. Anti-skid chains are used in Army vehicles in snow-bound high altitude areas and are a critical item for operational purposes. Any failure in performance of these chains may result in loss of human life and equipment belonging to the Army.”
Source: Indian Express

Saturday, February 20, 2010

CGHS Delhi North Zone to have Claim Adalat



CGHS Delhi has been organizing CLAIM ADALAT for the last three years on zonal basis. This is a novel and unique method in the health sector to reach out to its beneficiaries to settle on spot any dispute arising out of the claims related to medical bills reimbursement. These beneficiaries are mostly the pensions of the Government of India who submit their claims with CGHS.

CGHS North Zone is going to organize a claim Adalat on 27th February, Saturday, 2010 at the premises of the office of the Addl. Director CGHS North Zone situated at Shankar Road, New Razinder Nagar. This would be the third occasion when this Zone is going to hear the disputes/grievances about payments of medical bills.

Beneficiaries are informed through Newspaper publications/information at the CGHS dispensary level to apply to the Addl. Director in case they have any problem so far as their bills are settled. However, claims which are already been examined and rejected will not be discussed in such across the table settlements. Applications received by post and by hand are documented and concerned files are opened to re-scrutinize the claims on the merit case to case basis under the ambit of CGHS rules and regulations. Cases are readied from before hand to enable the parties to settle the matter amicably to the satisfaction of the beneficiary.

Most of the beneficiaries although had long been associated with the central government, are not acquainted with CGHS MRC rules and regulations.

Misunderstanding and grievances thus crop up. Despite of all genuine and sincere efforts it is also not unlikely that some delay in disposal of the huge number of claims does occur. In such cases, these Adalat are ideal forum to settle on spot instead of long and cumbersome procedure of correspondence and files. Observers from Ministry are present to oversee the procedure to make it transparent and overboard.

In this Adalat, officers who will represent CGHS are Addl. Director, OSD (reimbursement), PAO and Administrative officer while the Ministry would be represented by the Deputy Secretary, CGHS, Ministry of H&FW.

This type of claim Adalat is in the principle of fast track decisions followed in judicial system and is usually done to clear the long pending cases for good. Main theme of these exercises is to make the officialdom transparent and rid of long pending cases. Unnecessary litigations may also be avoided by virtue of this type of out of the settlements.

Friday, February 19, 2010

News from Secretary General of Confederation



News from Secretary General Confederation
(CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVT. EMPLOYEES & WORKERS)

The last National Sectt. Meeting inter alia discussed the possibility of a joint action programme with the AISGEF and AIDEF in the event of the Government introducing the PFRDA Bill and the new direct taxes code in the Budget session of the Parliament. While the AISGEF was to take a decision in the matter in their all India Conference which was scheduled to be held in the first week of February at Hyderabad, the AIDEF had promised us to discuss the issue in their organizational fora and revert back to us. So far we have not received any communication from the AIDEF. The All India Conference of the AISGEF had to be postponed due to the ongoing agitation in Andhra Pradesh. Hence, no finality could be reached on the proposal for organizing a day’s strike somewhere in March, 2010.

The Budget session is likely to commence on 22nd Feb.2010. The National Secretariat had discussed of the necessity of organizing a demonstrative programme in the first week of the Parliament session. It was decided that Lunch recess programme should be organized in front of all offices eliciting the participation of all the employees in the respective office on a pre determined date. Taking into account the requirement of sufficient time to organize the programme, we call upon the affiliates and State Committees to ensure that the lunch hour demonstration is organized in front of all offices on 10th March, 2010 to oppose the introduction of the new Direct Taxes code and the reintroduction of the PFRDA Bill. The following telegram/Savingram may be sent to the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherji, (at North Block, Central Sectt. New Delhi.)

Reintroduce the statutory defined benefit pension scheme for all CGEmployees recruited after .1.1.2004 by withdrawing the PFRDA Bill and amend the direct taxes code as demanded in the memorandum submitted by the Confederation of CGE and Workers.



Enclosed herewith is a copy of the letter sent by the Confederation to the Hon’ble Finance Minister in response to the draft proposal placed on the website by the government.
With greetings,

Yours fraternally,
K.K.N. Kutty
Secretary General.

To
Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherji,
Hon’ble Finance Minister,
Govt. of India,

North Block,
New Delhi. 110 001.



Dear Sir,
Sub: Restoration of the deduction under Section 16(1) of the Income - tax Act. Withdrawn by the Finance Act, 2005. Request – Reg



We submit the following Note for your kind consideration on the above subject. The Finance Act 2005 had withdrawn the deduction admissible under Section 16(1) of the Income tax Act, to the salaried tax payers of the country. We were unable to comprehend the logic or reasoning of this decision. We had been representing for the restoration of this deduction which would go a long way in reducing the tax burden of the salaried tax payers. The unjustified withdrawal of this deduction which had been in the statute book for more than a decade and half in one form or the other has resulted in increasing the tax burden of the wage earners in the country.



We may also state in this connection that the salaried tax payers do pay their taxes to the Government without indulging in any evasion or avoidance and the tax on the salary earned by them is properly deducted at source by the employer. While the expenditure incurred by every tax payer in the country for the purpose of earning the income is allowed as an admissible deduction, no such deduction is now permitted while computing the taxable income from salary. Only the salaried tax payers are taken out of the ambit of this logical and genuine approach of taxation of income. We, therefore, request your good self on behalf of not only the Central Government employees but all salaried class of tax payers in the country to kindly consider re-introduction of the standard deduction which was to the extent of 30% of the total salary income of an individual. The enclosed Note presents the justification for the consideration of this request.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

K.K.N. Kutty.
Secretary General.



Section 16(1) Deduction.
Standard Deduction earlier allowed under Section 16(i) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 was withdrawn by the Finance Act 2005 with effect from the Asst. Year 2005-06. The basic premise on which the principle of taxation of income rests is that, it is not the gross income which is subjected to tax, but the net income arrived at after deducting the related expenses incurred in connection with earning such income, that are made the basis of taxation. This principle is observed while taxing all classes of incomes, viz., Income from Business & Profession, House Property, Other Sources, Capital Gains etc..

To illustrate the point further it could be seen that the assesses having Income from “Business & Profession” is entitled to deductions in respect of certain specified expenditure under Section 36 of the Income Tax Act and also general deductions in respect of any other expenditure, not being in the nature of capital expenditure or personal expenditure of the assessee, laid out or expended wholly or exclusively for the purposes of the relevant business or profession u/s 37 of the Act. Similarly, income chargeable under the head “Income from House Property” is computed after making deductions in respect of certain expenses incidental to earning that income, under Section 24 of the IT Act. Analogously, the income chargeable under the head “Capital Gains” has to be computed by deducting from the full value of the consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer of the capital asset, inter-alia the expenditure incurred wholly and exclusively in connection with such transfer, in terms of Section 48(i) of the I.T. Act and the income chargeable under the head “Income from Other Sources” has also to be computed after making deductions in respect of certain expenditure incidental to earning that income in accordance with Section 57 of the I.T. Act. In the case of income chargeable under the head “Salary”, only a presumptive deduction used to be allowed earlier towards expenses which the employee might have incurred for earning the salary income, in the form of Standard Deduction under Section 16(i) of the IT Act. This was withdrawn by the Finance Act 2005 and unfortunately, the Finance Act, 2006 or the subsequent one did not reintroduce the Standard Deduction in spite of various representations made before the Govt. from various quarters of the employees including the Service Associations

From the above, it would transpire that the Finance Act 2005 singled out the income chargeable under the head “Salary” to take away the deductions legitimately admissible for the expenses, which is wholly and exclusively incurred for earning the salary income. This is a clear case of deviation from the principle of equity enshrined in the Constitution and also the principles of taxation of income enshrined in the Income Tax Act which continues till its abolition in 2005. Ironically, identical Standard Deduction granted under Section 57(iia) in the case of income in the nature of family pension has been allowed to continue as such, while the Standard Deduction allowable in respect of income under the head “Salary” has been done away with. This is clearly discriminatory, unjust and as such should be restored in the Finance Act 2009 so as to bring about equity and justice.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pay Fixation on Promotion : Applicability of Minimum Pay / Stepping up of Pay clarification



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(RAILWAY BOARD)
******
S.No.PC-VI/188
No.PC-VI/2010/I/RSRP/1
RBE No.28/2010
New Delhi, dated 17.02.2010
The GMs/CAOs(R),
All Indian Railways & Production Units
(As per mailing list)


Subject: Applicability of minimum pay/stepping up of pay clarification reg.

A number of references have been received in this office regarding applicability, for departmental promotees, of minimum entry pay prescribed for direct recruits (appointed on or after 1.1.2006), in Section II of Part A of the First Schedule of RS(RP) Rules, 2008. References have also been received regarding stepping up of pay of senior promotees with references to such of their directly recruited juniors who are recruited on or after 1.1.2006 and whose basic pay is more than that of their seniors.

2. The matter has been examined in consultation with Ministry of Finance. In this connection it is clarified that the revised pay structure comprises grade pays and running pay bands and in the case of those Railway servants who were already in service before 1.1.2006. Sixth Pay Commission has not prescribed a minimum pay in the running pay band with reference to the minimum entry level pay prescribed for direct recruits appointed on or after 1.1.2006. Further, the Sixth CPC has not prescribed minimum pay in the pay band for the purpose of fixation of pay on promotion in the case of any grade and fixing of minimum pay in the pay band in the case of each grade pay for departmental promotees would defeat the very purpose of introduction of running pay bands.

3. As far as the matter relating to bringing the pay of existing Railway servants as on 1.1.2006 at par with the pay of direct recruits recruited on or after 1.1.2006 is concerned, it is clarified that the pay of those Railway servants who joined the Railway as direct recruits on or after 1.1.2006 is to be fixed as per Section II, Part ‘A’ of the First Schedule to the RS(RP) Rules, 2008 and the procedure of pay fixation is based on a specific recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission, which has been accepted by the Government. As far as pay fixation in respect to those Railway servants who were already in service on 1.1.2006 is concerned, the same is to be done as per the provisions of Rule 7 of RS(RP) Rules, 2008 and in accordance with the fitment tables annexed with this Ministry’s letter No.PC-VI/2008/I/RSRP/1 dated 11.9.2008.

4. In the light of the foregoing, it is clarified that in terms of RS(RP) Rules,2008:-

(a) no minimum pay in the pay band can be prescribed in the case of promotion of Railway servants from one grade to another (except in the case of change in pay band); and

(b) pay of those Railway servants who were already in service on 1.1.2006 can not be fixed with reference to the minimum entry pay prescribed for those who joined the Railways as direct recruits on or after 1.1.2006 as per Section II, Part ‘A’ of the First Schedule to the RS(RP) Rules, 2008.

5. However, stepping up of pay of seniors can be permitted with reference to such of their directly recruited juniors borne on the same seniority list who are recruited on or after 1.1.2006 and whose basic pay is more than that of the seniors, subject to the following conditions:-

(a) Stepping up of the basic pay of seniors can be claimed only in the case of those cadres which have an element of direct recruitment and in cases where a directly recruited junior is actually drawing more basic pay than the seniors. In such cases, the basic pay of the seniors will be stepped up with reference to the basic pay of the juniors. Stepping up will be applicable from the date junior direct recruit is actually drawing higher basic pay than the senior.

(b) Further, Railway servants cannot claim stepping up of their revised basic pay with reference to entry pay in the revised pay structure for direct recruits appointed on or after 1.1.2006 as laid down in Section II of Part A or First Schedule to the RS(RP) Rules, 2008, if their cadre does not have an element of direct recruitment, or in cases where no junior is drawing basic pay higher than them.

(c) Stepping up of pay of the seniors shall not be applicable in cases where pay of direct recruits has been fixed at a higher stage on account of grant of advance increments etc. at the time of recruitment.

6. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.

(Hari Krishan)
Director, Pay Commission –II Railway Board



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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

MAJOR PENALTY PROCEEDINGS RECOMMENED AGAINST 70 OFFICERS



CVC disposed of 468 cases in December 2009

The Central Vigilance Commission disposed of 468 cases during December 2009 referred to it for advice. The Commission advised initiations of major penalty proceedings against 70 officers. Of these, 20 were from public sector banks, 17 from M/o Railways, 11 from Northern Coalfields Ltd., 4 from Western Coalfields Ltd., 3 from MCD, 2 each from Ministry of Home Affairs and Central Board of Excise and Customs. The remaining 9 cases pertained to different departments of the Government of India and PSUs.

The Commission also advised imposition of major penalty against 66 officers including 13 from MCD, 11 from Public Sector Banks, 9 from M/o Railways, 6 from Central Board of Excise and Customs, 4 each from M/o Commerce and Central Coalfields Ltd., 3 each from Central Warehousing Corp. Ltd. and Hindustan Paper Corpn., 2 each from D/o Telecommunication, Eastern Coalfields Ltd., Khadi & Village Industries Commission and M/o of Textiles. Remaining 3 cases pertained to different departments of the Government of India and PSUs.

The Commission disposed 1122 complaints during the month. Of these, 1021complaints were sent for necessary action/ATR whereas 101 complaints were sent for investigation and report.

On the Commission’s recommendations, the competent authorities issued sanctions for prosecution against 12 officers including 5 from M/o P,PG & Pensions, 2 from Punjab National Bank and 1 each from CBDT, M/o External Affairs, CBEC, M/o of Small Scale Industry and M/o of Commerce.

Recoveries to the tune of Rs. 68.63 crore were affected after Commission conducted technical examination of some departments.

CAT clears air on promotion benefits



If an employee, fulfiling the eligibility criteria for promotion to a particular post, works for a reasonable period on that post against a vacancy,, the government cannot deny him/her the actual promotion and accompanying financial benefits, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has held.

A Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench headed by Chairman Justice V.K. Bali held that in such a situation, it would be arbitrary to deny salary and other benefits of the promoted post to the employee.

The bench ordered the Delhi Government to re-fix the salary and retirement benefits of six retired school teachers, who had been given notional promotion to the post of principal, albeit without any accruing financial benefits.

Rejecting the Delhi Government’s arguments that all promotions had to be prospective and retired employees had no right to actual promotion, the CAT allowed the petition filed by Gaurishankar Sharma, Budh Prakash Tyagi, Raj Kumar Uppal, Prabhu Dayal, Jagdish Prasad Sharma and Chintamani Mathur.

It directed the Delhi Government to fix the correct salary of the petitioners, from the dates each of them had been promoted notionally to principal and to fix par arrears of salary for the period they were in service.

The CAT also ordered payment of revised retirement benefits, with six per cent interest on arrears within four months. The petitioners had served as heads of schools over several years.

But the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC), held after their retirement, recommended only notional promotion for them and accordingly, the government did not give them any financial benefit of promotion.

Aggrieved by the decision, they moved the CAT, seeking benefit of the pay scale of principal, from the date they were assumed charge of the post, plus the arrears of pay and allowances after proper pay fixation, with retrospective effect. They also demanded revision of their retirement benefits.

The government contended the DPC could not be convened due to procedural reasons while they were in service and making them principals was only a stopgap arrangement. It said petitioners were not eligible for revision of retirement benefits and back wages because their promotion was only notional.

But citing the Supreme Court’s rulings on the issue, the CAT rejected these arguments.

“By virtue of the fact that the Applicants have actually worked on the post of principal, they would …be eligible for payment of back wages also, besides salary for the post of principal, from the date they have been notionally promoted to that post,” it said.
Source: Hindustan Times

Monday, February 15, 2010

'Major ports can also provide competitive services'



The Water Transport Workers Federation of India (WTWFI) has a significant presence among port and dock workers as well as seafarers. It is one of the major recognised federations, commanding the support of both the sailing crew on board and the workers on the shore. In a recent interaction with Business Line, the WTWFI General-Secretary, Mr T. Narendra Rao, spoke on a host of issues related to the maritime sector.

Excerpts from the interview:

How has the global meltdown affected seafarers and port and dock workers?
The global financial crisis has led to a reduction of job opportunities for seafarers as well as port and dock workers, all constituting an integral part of the shipping industry.

The slump in the global demand for goods hit the trade sector and, with it, shipping, entailing not only drop in cargo handling in major ports but also a fall in the earnings of those associated with the whole gamut of operations relating to imports, exports, shipping, chartering, freight forwarding and cargo handling in ports. However, the situation, of late, has started showing signs of improvement.

The current manning crisis in the shipping industry is the consequence of the global meltdown. The lack of investment to create modern infrastructures in ports and to acquire new ships is apparently the consequence of the economic meltdown. Factors such as slow commodity trading in the global and domestic markets and a significant drop in freight rates also resulted in drying up of freight forwarding business.

However, some positive signs are now visible, such as the rise in global demand, especially substantial increase in handling of iron ore, thermal coal and petroleum and POL products in the major ports. This has, in turn, given cargo traffic in the major ports a leg up in the first half of the current financial year.

Even as global economies are on the recovery path, the freight market remains subdued. As a result, the earnings of Indian shipping companies are yet to pick up. The indication is that the earnings are likely to be lower this year also.

Does the growth of private container terminals in Indian ports affect the bargaining strength of major federations in the port sector?
The growth of private container terminals has affected the bargaining power of the federations to a certain extent, not very much. Denied of fair wages, the employees of these private terminals face exploitation in various ways. The federations, therefore, plan to organise the affected sections of employees under the banner of trade unions.

Has privatisation in ports impacted the finances of the port trusts? Do the private terminals help the maritime trade?
Yes. There is no doubt that the privatisation of the port sector has impacted the financial profiles of ports badly. It is evident from the decline in the revenues of major ports. It is ridiculous that the government has declared the policy of port development on the basis of “landlord” concept which, we feel, is highly detrimental to the development of ports and their revenues.

Through the National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP), the government is spending huge money for developing infrastructure in the port sector, whereas, investments by private terminal operators remain insignificant compared to the public funding. Experiences suggest that the appointment of suitable management can guarantee efficient, prompt and cost-effective services to users in government-owned ports vis-à-vis those offered by the private terminals. JNPT is a case in point.

It is not right to say that only private terminals can provide competitive services to the port users. Major ports, with their available workforce and existing infrastructure, too can provide efficient services, provided the infrastructure is upgraded in time and properly.

There are instances where private terminals have backtracked on their commitment to pay the agreed royalties to the port authorities and approached courts for evading payments. Healthy competition is good. But monopoly in terminal operations will definitely kill the competitive environment.

How would you compare the pay and perquisites of port and dock workers vis-à-vis those of the Central Government employees?
The port trusts followed Central Government pay-scales till 1963. After that, the port and dock workers were paid better in terms of remuneration and other fringe benefits as compared to Central Government employees. However, the situation changed in past few years, with the result that the Central Government employees now earn more and enjoy better facilities than those in the port sector. We are trying to bring a kind of parity.

The Central Government jobs are basically service-oriented whereas in the port sector, it is output-oriented. The port sector is unique and, therefore, cannot be compared with any other industry or group of industries. The wage structure of port and dock workers has to be structured keeping in view the unique nature and conditions of work in this sector. So wages in ports cannot be considered in a vacuum. No wonder the Wage Revision Committee has proposed parity between the pay-structures of port and dock workers and those of Central Government employees.
Source: Business Line

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Summary of items raised by AIRF in the Departmental Anomaly Committee



All India Railwaymen's Federation has raised the following items in the Departmental Anomaly Committee

1. Separate Grade Pay to Trackman, Senior Trackman, Gateman, Trolleyman, Head Trackman / Keyman, Gangmen and Sr. P.Way Supervisors.

Gangman - GP Rs.1800
Sr. Gangman & Gatekeeper - GP Rs.1900
Hd. Gangman Keyman - GP Rs.2000
Sr. Keyman & Gangmate - GP Rs.2400
P. Way Supervisor & Sr. Gangmate - GP Rs.4200

2. Introduction of following structure in Artisan category

Artisan Gr. III – PB-1 + GP Rs.2400
Artisan Gr. II – PB-1 + GP Rs.2800
Artisan Gr. I – PB-2 + GP Rs.4200
Master Craftsman - PB-2 + GP Rs.4600

3. Technical Supervisors – All Departments
Jr. Engineers - PB-2 + GP Rs.4800
Sr. Section Engineers - PB-2 + GP Rs.5400

4. ASM - PB-2 + GP Rs.4200 and onward upliftment

5. Asst. Loco Pilot – PB-1 + GP Rs.2800

6. Goods Pilot - PB-2 + GP Rs.4600
Loco Pilot (Pass.) - PB-2 + GP Rs.4800
Loco Pilot (M/Exp.) – PB-2 + GP Rs.5400

7. Goods Guards - PB-2 + GP Rs.4200 and onward upliftment

8. Stenographers - PB-2 + GP Rs.4600 and onward upliftment

9. Physiotherapists - PB-2 + GP Rs.4800 and onward upliftment

10. Radiographers - PB-2 + GP Rs.4600 (Apex grade)

11. Laboratory Staff of Medical Dept. - Lab. Technician - PB-1 + GP Rs.2400 and onward upliftment

12. Lab. Superintendent – provision of Group B Post in PB-2 + GP Rs.5400

13. Loco Inspectors - PB-2 + GP Rs.5400

14. CMT Staff - Jr. Engineer - PB-2 + GP Rs.4800
SSE - PB-2 + GP Rs.5400

15. Sr. Traffic Costing Inspectors - - PB-2 + GP Rs.4800

16. Rajbhasha Staff by placing at par with Secretariat Staff.

17. Publicity Inspectors - PB-2 + GP Rs.5400

18. Typist - Sr. Typist - PB-1 + GP Rs.2800 and further parity with Ministerial Staff.

19. Technicians - Signal - PB-2 + GP Rs.4200 (Entry Grade)

20. ECRC (Entry Grade) - PB-2 + GP Rs.4200

21. Nursing Staff – ANO be placed in PB-4

22. Information Technology Cadre at par with Technical Supervisors.

23. Rate of Kilimetrage – Running Staff - Kilimetrage of Running Staff should be revised as per Bhalla Committee formula w.e.f. 1.1.2006.

24. Additional Allowance to Running Staff – Provision of Special Allowance to all Running Staff.

25. Anomaly in fixation of pay in case of promotee with reference to their junior direct recruits after 1.1.2006 be removed.

26. Ticket Checking Staff – Sr. TC - PB-1 + GP Rs.2800

27. Health and Malaria Inspectors should be provided GP Rs.4800 / Rs.5400 in PB-2.

28. Remove anomaly of pay fixation of Loco Supervisors inducted prior to 1.1.2006 with reference to their juniors drafted after 1.1.2006.
29. Train Controllers be placed in PB-2 + GP Rs.4800 and Rs.5400 respectively.

30. Grade Pay of all ex-cadre Instructors of Training Instructors,Safety Counselors, Work Study Inspectors, Traffic Costing Inspectors and similarly placed be uplifted in PB-2 + GP Rs.4800 and Rs.5400 respectively.

31. Personnel & Welfare Inspectors be placed in - PB-2 + GP Rs.4800 and Rs.5400 respectively.

32. Head Proof Readers be placed in - PB-2 + GP Rs.4200.

33. Higher Grade Pay be allotted to Cash Office Receipt Side.
34. Head Clerks and OS-II in Transit Cell be placed in PB-2 + GP Rs.4200

35. Tower Wagon Drivers be placed in PB-2 + GP Rs.4600

36. Telephone Operators, Cipher Operators, Cashier, Shroffs, Finger Print Examiners and Typists be placed in higher Grade Pay.

37. Safety Categories – Special Allowance of Rs.500/- and Rs.1000/- be granted to all staff working in Safety Category including Supervisors.

38. TIA/ISA in Accounts Department be placed in GP Rs.4800 and Rs.5400 respectively.

39. Account Assistants be placed in PB-2 + GP Rs.4600

40. One advance increment as a one time exception in case of those who have having their annual increment from 1st Feb. 2006 to 1st June 2006.

41. Granting of one additional increment stagnation increment on 1.1.2006 as specified in Para 2 of Rule 10 of RBE 103/2008.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Government introduce a new Medical Scheme for Central Government Employees and Pensioners



Government introduce a new Medical Scheme for Central Government Employees and Pensioners as in the name of Central Government Employees and Pensioners Health Insurance Scheme (CGEPHIS). In all over India, pensioners are getting meager amount of Rs.100 as Medical Allowance (except CGHS beneficiaries). It is estimated that approximately 17 lakh serving employees and 7 lakh pensioners shall be offered this Scheme and Government plan to enroll all serving employees and pensioners on compulsory / optional basis.

Some key points regarding the scheme:-

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND PENSIONERS HEALTH INSURANCE SCHEME (CGEPHIS)

BENEFICIARIES:
CGEPHIS shall be compulsory to new Central Government Employees who would be joining service after the introduction of the Health Insurance Scheme.

CGEPHIS shall be compulsory to new Central Government retirees who would be retiring from the service after the introduction of the Insurance Scheme.

CGEPHIS would be available on voluntary basis for the following:
Existing Central Government Employees and Pensioners who are already CGHS beneficiaries. In this case they have to opt out of CGHS scheme. They will also have the option of choosing both CGHS and Insurance policy. In such case the total insurance premium has to be borne by the member.

Existing Central Government Employees and Pensioners who are not CGHS beneficiaries but are covered under CS (MA)

INSURANCE COVERAGE:
In-patient benefits – The Insurance Scheme shall pay all expenses incurred in course of medical treatment availed of by the beneficiaries in an Empanelled Hospitals/ Nursing Homes (24 hours admission clause) within the country, arising out of either illness/disease/injury and or sickness.

NOTE: In case of organ transplant, the expenses incurred for the Donor are also payable under the scheme.

Pre & Post hospitalization benefit: Benefit up to 30 days Pre Hospitalization & up to 60 days Post Hospitalization respectively which would cover all expenses related to treatment of the sickness for which hospitalization was done.

FAMILY SIZE:
Serving/Retired Employees: Self, Spouse, Two dependent children and up to Two Dependent Parents. New born shall be considered insured from day one till the expiry of the current policy irrespective of the number of members covered subject to eligibility under maternity benefit.

Any additional dependent member in addition to above [Sr. No. 5 (1)] can be covered under the Scheme by paying the fixed amount of premium. This additional full premium shall be borne by the beneficiary.

IDENTIFICATION OF FAMILY:
Beneficiaries shall be identified by a “Photo Smart Card” issued by the insurer to all beneficiaries which would have all personal details, medical history, policy limits etc. of the CGEPHIS members. This card would be used across the country to access Health Insurance Benefits. The photograph embedded in the chip of the Smart Card will be taken as the proof for determining the eligibility of the beneficiaries.

SUM INSURED AND BUFFER / CORPORATE SUM INSURED
SUM INSURED:
The Scheme shall provide coverage for meeting all expenses relating to hospitalization of beneficiary members up to Rs. 5, 00,000/- per family per year in any of the Empanelled Hospital/Nursing Home/Day Care Unit subject to stated limits on cashless basis through smart cards. The benefit shall be available to each and every member of the family on floater basis i.e. the total reimbursement of Rs. 5.00 lakh can be availed by one individual or collectively by all members of the family.

Entitlements for various types of wards: CGHS beneficiaries are entitled to facilities of private, semi-private or general ward depending on their pay drawn in pay band / pension. These entitlements are amended from time to time and the latest order in this regards needs to be followed. The entitlement is as follows:-

Pay drawn in pay band/Basic Pension - Entitlement
Rs. 13,950/-(up to)……………………………… General Ward
Rs. 13,960/- to 19,530/- …………………… Semi-Private Ward
Rs. 19,540/- and above ……………………… Private Ward

CASHLESS ACCESS SERVICE:
The Insurer has to ensure that all CGEPHIS members are provided with adequate facilities so that they do not have to pay any deposits at the commencement of the treatment or at the end of treatment to the extent as the Services are covered under the Scheme. The service provided by the Insurer along with subject to responsibilities of the Insurer as detailed in this clause is collectively referred to as the “Cashless Access Service.”

The services have to be provided by the Empanelled Hospitals/Nursing Homes/Day Care Clinics to the beneficiary based on Photo Smart Card authentication only without any delay. The beneficiaries shall be provided treatment free of cost for all such ailments covered under the Scheme within the limits/sub-limits of defined package rates and sum insured, i.e., not specifically excluded under the scheme.
ENROLMENT PROCESS
The process of enrolment shall be as under:
Serving Employees:
1. Departments and offices will call for options from employees to join voluntary CGEPHIS with or without existing CGHS/CS (MA) benefits.

2. Head of Department of the Administrative Ministry/Department would be the contact point for the Insurance Companies.

3. Enrolment forms giving details about self and family and authorization to the department for recovery of premium on a monthly basis would be consolidated by the Administrative Ministry / Department. The data of the beneficiary and dependent members to be covered along with 2 recent passport size photo and copy of enrolment form will be forwarded to Insurance Company on monthly basis.

4. Insurance Company will issue Smart Cards on the basis of information received of the beneficiaries for enrolment.

5. Such Smart Cards along with the enrollment kit shall be sent by the insurers directly to the insured persons at their respective mailing addresses at insurer’s cost within 7 days.

Insurance Premium:-
The beneficiary will have to pay an annual premium which will be determined after the formal introduction of the Scheme. It will vary according to the grade pay of the officer. The estimated annual premium for a standard family size will be in the range of Rs.8000 to Rs.12000 p.a. It is however proposed to be subsidized by the Government to a considerable extent.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Confusion in the minutes of National Anomaly Committee



Confederation of Central Government Employees, Secretary General Mr.K.K.N.KUTTY has written in his website as follows...

"The draft minutes of the last meeting of the National Anomaly Committee held on 12.12.2009. were discussed with the Director JCA(Secretary Official Side). It was decided that the amendments required would be communicated to him in writing and thereafter the same could be finalized after further discussion with the Staff Side, a procedure that had been followed till date. Accordingly, the Staff Side had submitted the amendments to the draft minutes. We place hereunder the copy of the letter the Staff Side Secretary had sent to the Official side requesting to incorporate the amendments to the minutes. .

The official side without any further discussion, finalized the minutes incorporating some of the amendments (in Bold print) which have been placed on their website indicated below.

http://persmin.gov.in/writedata/CircularNotification/ScanDocument/11_2_2008-JCA1.pdf

It has been decided that Staff side would further discuss this matter with Director JCA and press for incorporation of leftout amendments".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clarification regarding deduction in respect of contribution to pension scheme under Section 80 CCD



F.No. 275/192/2009-IT (B)


New Delhi Dated the 9th February, 2010.

Sub: Clarification regarding deduction in respect of contribution to pension scheme under Section 80 CCD – matter reg.

A number of representations have been received regarding deduction under Section 80 CCD for contribution made under pension scheme in the light of Circular No-1 /2010 dated 11th Jan’2010 issued on the subject of Deduction of Tax at Source etc. It is clarified that in accordance with the provisions of Section 80 CCD, deduction in respect of contribution made by an individual in the previous year to his account under a pension scheme notified, is allowed in computation of his total income –

(a) in the case of an employee, ten per cent of his salary in the previous year; and (b) in any other case, ten per cent of his gross total income in the previous year.

2. It is further clarified that where the Central Government or any other employer makes any contribution to the account of employee for the pension scheme, the assessee shall also be allowed a deduction in the computation of his total income of the whole of the amount contributed by the Central Govt. or any other employer as does not exceed 10% of his salary in the previous year.

3. Salary for the purpose of above section (80 CCD) includes dearness allowance if the terms of employment so provide, but excludes all other allowances and perquisites.

4. It is further clarified that aggregate limit of deduction under this section (80 CCD) along with Sections 80 C, 80 CCC shall not in any case exceed Rs.one lakh.

Yours faithfully,

(Ansuman Pattnaik)
Director (Budget)


Monday, February 08, 2010

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF NATIONAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE HELD ON 12th DECEMBER, 2009



MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF NATIONAL ANOMALY

COMMITTEE HELD ON 12th DECEMBER, 2009

A meeting of the National Anomaly Committee (NAC) was held on 12th December, 2009 in Conference Room No.119, North Block, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Personnel). A list of participants who attended the meeting is annexed.

2. At the outset, the Chairman welcomed the representatives of the Staff Side and Official Side. The Chairman stated that the recommendations of the 6th CPC have been implemented with certain modifications. While processing the Report, the Committee of Secretaries also consulted the Staff Side. As decided by the Cabinet at the time of approving the Report of the Sixth CPC, instructions have been issued for setting up of Anomaly Committees at the National as well as Departmental Level in order to ensure the resolution of anomalies. The Chairman informed that the National Anomaly Committee would discuss the anomalies common to two or more Departments and anomalies pertaining to common categories of employees. Further, he indicated his firm belief as well as conviction that all the anomalies can be resolved through the consultative process. The Chairman also informed that the next (46th) meeting of the National Council (JCM) has been scheduled to be held on 16th January, 2010 under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary.

The Chairman also reiterated the resolve of the Government to maintain a sustained level of contact with the Staff Side in order to take forward the process of consensus building and collaborative endeavour to achieve the goals of higher productivity, efficiency and staff welfare. Thereafter, the Chairman invited the Leader and Secretary of Staff Side to say a few words.

3. Leader of the Staff Side Shri M. Raghaviah thanked the Chairman and conveyed the appreciation of the Staff Side for convening the meeting of the National Anomaly Committee. He further stated that the opening address of the Chairman conveyed the right message and stated that all anomalies can be resolved in a peaceful fashion. He thanked the Government for all the improvements over and above the recommendations of the 6th CPC and stated that there are certain areas where there is some unrest with respect to implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC and requested the Chairman that all such issues should be resolved as soon as possible. He once again thanked the Chairman and reiterated the resolve of the Staff Side for cordial and healthy industrial relations.

4. Secretary of the Staff Side Shri Umraomal Purohit reciprocated the sentiments expressed by the Chairman and indicated that all the anomalies can be resolved through mutual discussion. He also thanked the Chairman, for not only for convening the first meeting of the NAC at such a short notice, but also taking initiative in scheduling the next meeting of the National Council (JCM) on 16th January, 2010. He mentioned about the long delay in convening the meeting of the National Council but also stated that he hoped that from now onwards things would change for the better. Secretary, Staff Side drew the attention of the Chairman towards non-functioning / delays in holding the meetings of the Departmental Councils in various Ministries/Departments. Emphasising the importance of the Departmental Councils in the Scheme of Joint Consultative Machinery and Compulsory Arbitration, Secretary of the Staff Side stated that some way out has to be found to ensure that Departmental Councils work properly in all Ministries/Departments and its meetings are held regularly. While complimenting the Government for timely implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC, Secretary of the Staff Side stated that the definition of the anomaly which was adopted earlier has been altered this time which may lead to certain problems. He also stated that the Report of the 6th CPC is not like the earlier reports and the new format recommended by the 6th CPC is being gradually adopted. He also referred to certain issues like Risk Allowance (RA), Patient Care Allowance and Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) for pensioners and requested that final orders on these issues may be issued only after discussing the same with the Staff Side. Secretary of the Staff Side also drew the attention of the Chairman towards certain benefits like maternity leave / child care leave and stated that the same have not been extended as yet to the women industrial employees and requested for early action in this regard. Secretary of the Staff Side also complimented the Government with respect to the setting of the Fast Track Committee and stated that the Fast Track Committee has resolved long standing problems of the employees. He once again thanked the Chairman for convening the meeting of the NAC and for giving him an opportunity to express his feelings.

5. The Chairman stated that Government also understand that the report of the 6th CPC is different and was of the view that there is a need for greater dissemination of information on the recommendations of the 6th CPC. Accordingly, he requested the Staff Side for a list of questions /issues on which more information is required so that the Government can prepare a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and put the same on the web site for, increasing awareness etc. The Chairman also assured to take necessary steps to ensure that meetings of the Departmental Councils of various Ministries / Departments are held regularly. Regarding the definition of an anomaly, the Chairman opined that this should not lead to any problems and stated that official side is open to examining the matter if it is found that there is indeed a case. The Chairman also requested the Staff Side to forward issues which could have become anomalies had the said para not been deleted for further examination of the same.

6. Thereafter, the anomalies as per the agenda were taken up for discussion:

Agenda Item Nos. 1 to 4- Anomaly in Pay Fixation in case of merqer of various Pay Scales.

As the anomalies mentioned at item No.1 to 4 represented similar items, it was decided to club the four items together. The Staff Side demanded that since the pre-revised Pay Scales of Rs.5000-8000, Rs.5500-9000 were merged with the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500, the pay of the incumbents holding the pay scales of Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500-9000 should have been fixed with effect from 1 .1.2006 by applying the multiplying factor of 1.86 at Rs.6500. The Staff Side stated that the intention of the Pay Commission was to upgrade the two pay scales and merge them with the higher pay scale of Rs.6500. Therefore, denying the benefit of higher pay scale to the concerned employees is not justified. Joint Secretary (Pers), Department of Expenditure stated that this issue was raised by the Staff Side before the Committee of Secretaries set up by the Government to process the Report of the Sixth CPC. Further, JS (Per) informed that pay fixation in the revised pay structure has been done strictly in accordance with the fixation tables given in the Report of the 6th CPC (with suitable modifications due to change in fitment factor from Rs.1.74 to 1.86) and therefore, this could not be termed as an anomaly. She further stated that all the employees in the pre-revised Pay Scales of Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500-9000 were given the uniform fitment benefit @ 40% of the maximum of the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500, i.e., 40% of Rs.10500 as Grade Pay. In case the merger of the pre-revised pay scales of Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500-9000 with Rs.6500-10500 had not been recommended by the Pay Commission, then the fitment benefit granted to the Government servants who were in the pre-revised scales of Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500-9000 would have been much lesser i.e. 40% of Rs.8000 and Rs.9000 respectively. JS (Per) also clarified that the paras in the text of the Report should be read in conjunction with the fitment tables as they are not independent of each other. The fitment tables have been incorporated for the first time in a Report of the Central Pay Commission and are very much part of its recommendations. However, the Staff Side insisted that from the phraseology of the report of the 6th CPC, it is evident that the intention of the Pay Commission was to upgrade the two pay scales and pay fixation done merely on the basis of the fixation table given in the report of the 6th CPC cannot be an excuse to justify the denial of benefit on this ground to the concerned employees. The Staff Side reiterated that it was an anomaly precisely for the reason that vide Para 2.2.19, the 6th CPC has stated unambiguously that where pre revised pay scales have been merged it has been done by extending the minimum prescribed for the highest pay scale with which the other pay scales are being merged. However, the pay band has been fixed with reference to the minimum of the lowest pay scales which have been merged. The Chairman, while reiterating that the tables are very much part of the recommendations of the Pay Commission, suggested that Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure may look into this issue further.

Agenda Item No.5- Revised Pay Rules

(i) The Staff Side stated that since the 6th CPC has introduced the new system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay, there was a lot of confusion among the employees in deciding about the option for switching over to the revised pay scales. Accordingly, Staff Side demanded that the first option exercised may not be treated as final and one more option should be given to the employees. Officers of Department of Expenditure informed that all the cases of revision of option in relaxation of CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 referred to them had been agreed to by them. However, JS (Pers) agreed to look into the matter regarding delegation of powers to the administrative ministries to allow the options.

(ii) Regarding reckoning of Special Allowances and Qualification Pay at the time of fixation of pay in the revised pay structure, the Staff Side demanded that the same should have been taken into account while fixing the revised pay of the concerned Government servants. JS (Per) stated that this was not provided for in the CCS (RP) Rules, 2008. In this context, Members of Staff Side demanded that Rule should be modified to allow reckoning of Special Allowances Qualification Pay. JS (Per) enquired about the procedure followed at the time of implementation of Fifth Pay Commission's recommendations. Responding to this, Staff Side stated that an item pertaining to reckoning of such allowances / pay for the purpose of pay fixation after Fifth CPC was pending in the Standing Committee of the National Council. In this context, JS (Per) observed that CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 have no provision for this purpose and there is no precedent on the matter since the item raised by Staff Side after implementation of Fifth CPC's recommendations is still pending in the Standing Committee, logically the present issue could be taken up depending on the final decision on the item pending in the Standing Committee.

(iii) It was noted that this part has already been discussed as it relates to agenda item Nos.1 to 4.

(iv) Regarding anomaly in fixation of pay between direct recruits and promotees, the Staff Side argued that while applying Rule 8 of the CCS (RP) Rules, 2008, the pay of direct recruits and new entrants is fixed at a higher stage when compared to the existing employees who were promoted in the same grade. The Staff Side demanded that this anomaly should be rectified by incorporating a provision that in case after 1.1.2006, if a promotee's pay is getting fixed at a stage lower than that of a direct recruit as given in Section 2 of the First Schedule of the CCS (RP) Rules, then the pay of the promotee should be fixed at the same stage as that of a direct recruit/ new entrant so that the existing employees pay is protected at par with the pay given to a new entrant. JS (Pers) stated that the pay of the new entrants is being fixed strictly in accordance with the principles laid down by the 6th CPC in this regard. In case where a promotee and post-1.1.2006 direct recruit are borne on the same seniority list and the senior is drawing less basic pay than the junior, the pay of the senior can be stepped up. The Staff Side argued that it was not the intention of the 6th CPC to grant higher pay to direct recruitees vis-a-vis promotees and also stated that stepping up of pay is not being allowed in many Ministries1 Departments in such matters. The Staff Side further stated that the pay granted to the fresh entrant is the deemed minimum pay of the post and no promotees can be fixed below the minimum pay of the post to which he is promoted on regular basis. The Chairman suggested to the Department of Expenditure to re-examine the matter.

(v) Regarding the date of annual increment, the Staff Side argued that since the date of increment of all the Central Government employees has been fixed as 1st of July of every year, the employees whose increment dates are between 1st February 2006 and 1st June 2006 have to wait for more than 12 months for their first increment after the implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC. The Staff Side argued that this situation is quite anomalous since this will affect the employees who retire during the period between 1st February to 3oth June every year. They will suffer a loss of one increment perpetually and thus affecting their pension. The Staff Side demanded that the employees, whose increment falls between 1st February to 1st June, 2006, may be given an increment on 01.01.2006 as a one-time measure. JS (Per) intimated that as per the recommendation of Sixth CPC in the matter, which has been accepted by the Government, now there is only one day in the year, i.e., 1st of July of every year, for the purpose of granting annual increments. Further, it was stated that as far as cases of promotions that took place between 1st of January and 30th of June are concerned, instructions have already been issued that in such cases, Government servants have the option to have their pay fixed under FR 22(l)(a)(I). As per this, they will be granted two increments on 1st July, one annual increment , and the other on account of promotion. Regarding employees who retire during the period between lst February to 30th June every year, it was intimated that even prior to 01.01.2006, there were cases where the date of superannuation of a Government servant could be just one day prior to their DNI. Even at that time, there was no system to grant an additional increment to Government servants in such cases. Regarding the demand of the Staff Side that the employees whose increment falls between 1st February to 1st June, 2006 may be given an increment on 01.01.2006 as a one-time measure, JS (Per) stated that the issue will be looked into keeping in view its repercussions and a final view on the matter will be taken after factoring the likely repercussions. The Staff Side further stated that the Revised Pay Rules in relaxation of F.R. are meant only for the purpose of fixing the pay in the revised Pay scales. It has no application thereafter. It is on this specific understanding that the staff side had demanded the one time relaxation as otherwise the one time relaxation would not address similar issues of future recruitees and promotees. The Official Side contended that the Revised Pay Rules would override the provisions of the Fundamental Rules permanently. The Staff Side then contended that an increment has to be granted on completion of one year service. It must not be postponed except on award of a penalty on initiation of disciplinary proceedings. After some further discussion, the official side agreed to reconsider this matter.

(vi) The Staff Side agreed to drop this part relating to deduction of tax from salary.

(vii) The Staff Side stated that as per the existing scheme the temporary status employees have been granted the minimum of the corresponding scale of pay of regular employees (with benefit of annual increments). Therefore it would be necessary that these employees if they are non matriculates are given the requisite training and the benefit of fixation of pay at Rs.7000 (with grade pay of Rs.1800 with effect from 01 .01.2006. The Secretary, Staff Side pointed out that in respect of those who have retired / die during the period between 1 .1 .2006 and 1.9. 2008 it would not be possible to impart training to them. He, therefore, suggested, referring to his letter in this regard that they may be given the benefit of Grade Pay of Rs.1800 with effect from 1.1.2006. Regarding granting of temporary status to casual labourers, JS (Pers) informed that Department of Expenditure had already rendered their advice in the matter to JS (E), DoPT. Further action is to be taken by DoPT.

Agenda Item Nos.6 & 7-Benefit on Promotion

The Staff Side stated that prior to implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC while on promotion, the employees used to get the benefit of almost two increments subject to a minimum benefit of Rs.100. However, after the implementation of the recommendations of the 6th CPC, the promotion benefit is restricted to one increment, i.e., three percent of the lower pay band and grade pay. The Staff Side demanded that there should be at least a benefit of two increments while on promotion. JS (Pers), while reminding that this issue was also raised by the Staff Side before the Committee of Secretaries set up by the Government to process the Report of the Sixth CPC, stated that this was not an anomaly in terms of the definition of the anomaly. Further, she stated that as per the recommendations of Sixth CPC, in addition to 3% increment, the difference of grade pay also is given to the employee while on promotion and hence there is no justification in the demand of the Staff Side. The Staff Side argued that in the case of PB-I, the difference of grade pay is Rs.100 to Rs.400 only and in PB-2, the difference of grade pay is Rs.200 to Rs.400 only. Therefore the Staff Side demanded that two increments while on promotion are fully justified. However, JS (Per) stated that since this was not an anomaly, Staff Side should raise this matter outside the forum of National Anomaly Committee

Agenda Item No.8- Re-fixation of pension and family pension

Director (Pension) informed that the Dearness Relief is admissible toall categories of Central Government pensioners1 family pensioners. Therefore, it was agreed that the item may be treated as closed.

Agenda Item No.9-Paritv in Pension

Regarding anomaly in the pension for Government servants, who retired / died in harness between 1 .1 .2006 and 1.9.2008, Director(Pension) informed that Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare has already clarified vide its 0.M dated 11/12/2008 that the provision of payment of pension at 50% of the emoluments (pay last drawn or 50% of average emoluments received during the last ten months, whichever is more beneficial to the retiring employee, shall be applicable to all Government servants retiring on or after 1.1.2006. Therefore, it was agreed that the item may be treated as closed. The Staff side also drew the attention of the Chairman towards difficulties being faced by many pensioners in getting the second instalment of the arrears of pension. The Chairman assured the staff side that he would take up the matter with the Department of Financial Services and also instructed Director (Pensions) to ensure that the problem is sorted out at the earliest.

Agenda Item No.10-Cornrnutaion of Pension

The Staff Side dropped this item

Agenda Item No.15, 16 & 17 -Parity in Pension to all Pensioners

Regarding parity in pension of all pre 1996 retirees with those who retired on or after 1 .1.1996, the Staff Side stated that the pensioners were not given parity in pension irrespective of the date from which they had retired. The Government in the past have accepted the principle that there shall be parity in pension irrespective of the date from which they had retired. The benefit was given while implementing the 6th CPC recommendations. The Staff Side further stated that the 6th CPC in para 5.1.47 has stated that in order to maintain the existing modified parity between present and future retirees it will be necessary to allow the same fitment benefit as is being recommended for the existing Government employees. However, while implementing the 6th CPC, the pensioners who retired prior to 01.01.2006 were given only 40% of the basic pension where as the serving employees were given 40% of the maximum of their pay scale. The Staff Side, therefore, demanded that the pensioners should be granted 50% of the Grade Pay in the scale from which they had retired by way of fitment benefit and not 40% of basic pension. JS (Pers) informed that as per the recommendations of Sixth CPC, modified parity had already been granted to all pre-01.01.2006 pensioners. Consequent upon the implementation of Sixth CPC's recommendations regarding pension, all pre-01.01.2006 pensioners have been granted fitment benefit equal to 40% of their pre-revised basic pension, subject to the revised pension, in no case, being fixed lower than fifty percent of the sum of the minimum of the pay in the pay band and the grade pay thereon corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. At this, the Staff Side argued that a reading of the recommendation of Sixth Pay Commission on the matter indicated that the intent of the Pay Commission was to grant modified parity to pre-1.1.2006 pensioners by allowing same fitment benefit as is being recommended to the existing Government employees subject to the provision that revised pension shall not be lower than 50% of the minimum of the pay in the pay band prescribed for the grade pay and the sum of the grade pay corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. On the other hand, the Government had approved modified parity with reference to the minimum of the pay band plus the grade pay which is not consistent with the recommendation of the Sixth CPC. Officers of Department of Expenditure stated that this was not the intent of the recommendation of the Pay Commission. After some discussions, the staff side requested the official side to examine the matter once again.

Agenda Item no 27-Constant Attendance Allowance

Director (Pensions) informed the Members of the Committee that suitable instruction have already been issued vide O.M. No.45/6/2008-P&PW dated the 7th December, 2009. Therefore, it was agreed that the item may be treated as closed.

7. It was decided that the remaining items shall be taken up for discussion in the next meeting of the National Anomaly Committee.

ANNEXURE


DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL & TRAINING LIST OF PARTICIPANTS WHO ATTENDED THE FIRST MEETING OF THE NATIONAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE HELD ON lzTH DECEMBER, 2009 AT 11 .00 AM IN ROOM NO. 119, NORTH BLOCK, NEW DELHI.
CHAIRMAN - SECRETARY (PERSONNEL)
OFFICIAL SIDE STAFF SIDE
1 Shri P.K. Sharma,Addl. Member (Staff), Min. of Railways 1.Shri M.Raghavaiah,Leader (Staff Side)
2 Shri C.B.Paliwal,Joint Secretary, DOPT 2.Shri U.M.PurohitSecretary (Staff Side)
3 Smt. Archna Arora,Pr. Secy. Education, Andaman & Nicobar Adm. 3.Shri Rakhal DasGupta, Member
4 Smt. Madhulika P.Sukul,JS (Pers), D/o Expenditure 4.Shri R.P.Bhatnagar,Member
5 5.Shri Ramesh Kumar,Joint Secretary & AFA, Min. of Defence 5.Shri Guman Singh,Member
6 Shri D.K. Pandey,JS, Deptt. of Official Language(MHA) 6.Shri C.Srikumar,Member
7 Shri D.M. Gautam,Ex. Dir. (Pay Commission-I), Ministry of Railways, (Railway Board) 7.Shri S.K. Vyas.Member
8 Smt. Urvilla Khati, Ex. Dir.(Pay Commission-ll), Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) 8.Shri Ch.Sankara Rao,Member
9 Shri S. Sreeram, Jt. Dir. (Fin. Estb)Ministry of Railways 9.Shri R.Srinivasan,Member
10 Shri A.K. Das, DDG (Estb)Deptt. of Telecommunications 10.Shri K.K.N. Kutty,Member
11 Shri Raj Kumar,Director, Deptt. of Posts 11.Shri S.G. Mishra,Member
12 Shri Subhash Chander,Director. Deptt. of Posts -
13 Shri Raj Singh,Director, Deptt. of Pensions -
14 Shri Alok Saxena,Director (IC), Deptt. of Expenditure -
15 Smt. Simmi Nakra,Director (P&A), DOPT -
16 Smt. Rita Mathur,Director (Pay), DOPT -
17 Shri Alok Ranjan,Director (E.I), DOPT -
18 Shri M.L. Verma,Dy. Secy., Min. of Home Affairs -
19 Shri A. Selvaraj,Dy. Secy., Fin. Deptt., Govt. of Puducherry -
20 Shri G.K. Shukla,Under Secy., Min. of Home Affairs
21 Shri Dinesh Kapila,Deputy Secretary (JCA), DOPT -


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Rates of Dearness Allowance

DA & DR ORDERS - EXPECTED DA STATUS
Effective DatesAdditional DA Total DA DA OrdersDR Orders5th CPC
1.1.2006 0-DA/DR
1.7.2006 2%2%29.08.2008DA/DR
1.1.2007 4%6%29.08.2008DA/DR
1.7.2007 3%9%29.08.2008DA/DR
1.1.2008 3%12%29.08.2008DA/DR
1.7.2008 4%16%29.08.2008DA/DR
1.1.2009 6%22%13.03.200927.03.2009DA/DR
1.7.2009 5%27%18.09.200929.09.2009DA/DR
1.1.2010 8%35%26.03.201031.03.2010DA/DR
1.7.2010 10%45%22.09.201029.09.2010DA/DR
1.1.2011 6%51%24.03.201129.03.2011DA/DR
1.7.2011 7%58%03.09.2011 05.10.2011DA/DR
1.1.2012 7%65%03.04.2012 04.04.2012DA/DR
1.7.2012 7%72%28.09.2012 25.10.2012DA/DR
1.1.2013 8%80%25.04.2013 02.05.2013DA/DR
1.7.2013 10%90%25.09.2013 03.10.2013DA/DR
1.1.2014 10%100%27.03.201409.04.2014DA/DR
EXPECTED DA JUL 14 - JANUARY STATUS
EXPECTED DA JUL 14 - FEBRUARY STATUS
EXPECTED DA JUL 14 - MARCH STATUS
EXPECTED DA JUL 14 - APRIL STATUS
EXPECTED DA JUL 14 - MAY STATUS

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LIST OF CGHS HOSPITALS

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Press Statement of Confederation of 7th CPC25.09.2013Confederation
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