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MACP JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING ON ANOMALIES

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While discussions during the second meeting of the National Anomaly Committee held on 27th March 2010 and decided to constitute a Joint Committee to examine the anomalies pertaining to the Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme (MACPS). Eight items have been discussed in the First Meeting of the Joint Committee held on 25.02.2010.
Shri.M.Raghvahiya
Shri.S.K.Vyas
Shri.C.Srikumar
Shri.Umraomal Purohit
Above four Staff side Members are attended the meeting under the Chairmanship of Joint Secretary Establishment DOPT.

General Secretary of Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers Mr.K.K.N.Kutty has written in his blog regarding the eight discussions points with DOPT Chairman. We reproduce the full text of content under here...

MACP JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING ON ANOMALIES

Joint Committee on MACP met today under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary Establishment of DOPT. Following issues were discussed:

1. Item No:1:Provide Grade Pay of the next promotional post under MACP.

Staff Side pressed for placement in the Grade Pay of the Promotional Post instead of next higher Grade Pay in the hierarchy of revised Pay Band and Grade Pay. It was insisted because the career progression only means the promotion in the hierarchy and not to a Grade Pay which is not present in the hierarchy of the respective department.

The Staff Side also gave an alternative that first two MACPs after 10 and 20 years should be to the next promotional post as per the hierarchy of respective department as under the erstwhile ACP scheme and thereafter the third MACP in the next Grade Pay of the Revised Pay Band and Grade Pay.

2. Item No:2:Date of Effect.

It was demanded that MACP scheme may be introduced with effect from 1.1.2006. A scheme which has been recommended by the 6th CPC will be not available to those employees who have opted for revised pay scales w.e.f. 1.1.2006 but had retired or died before 1.9.2008, which is very anomalous.

3. Item No:3:Option for earlier ACP Scheme.

Staff Side pointed out that the benefit which employees were getting through two ACPs after 12 and 24 years of service is much higher than the benefit that they will get under MACP after three financial upgradations. It was therefore urged that the service conditions which were available to the existing employees cannot be adversely revised and if that happens then an option to retain the old scheme is inherent. And if the present MACP is not converted to hierarchical pattern, then at least an option may be given to retain the erstwhile scheme of ACP.

4. Item No:7:Grant of financial upgradation between 1.1.2006 and 31.8.2008.

In Para 9 of the DOPT OM dated 19.5.2009, it had been provided that earlier ACP scheme will continue to operate for the period from 1.1.2006 to 31.8.2008. However, this is not being allowed to officials who have opted for revised Pay Band and Grade Pay with effect from 1.1.2006. In some offices, it is being insisted that financial upgradation under the earlier ACP would be granted only in the pre-revised pay scales and they will have to opt for the revised pay scales only from the date they are granted the financial upgradation under earlier ACP. It was demanded that earlier ACP benefit may be given also to those officials who have come over to the Revised Pay Band and Grade Pay with effect from 1.1.2006.

5. Item No:8:Anomaly on introduction of MACP Scheme.

By an illustration in respect of Junior Engineer of CPWD, it has been pointed out that under earlier ACP they will go up to the revised Pay Band 3 with Grade Pay of 6600/- on completion of 24 years of service, whereas under the MACP Scheme, even after 30 years of service and getting third MACP they will get the Grade Pay of 5400/- only in PB-2. This is obviously less advantageous and therefore the demand for option to retain the old ACP scheme has been insisted.

The Official Side indicated that they will consider all these demands and in the next meeting they will indicate how far they can go.

6. Item No:4: Applicability of MACP Scheme to Group D employees who have been placed in the Grade Pay of 1800/-.

The DOPT had already stated that all promotions and upgradations granted under ACP Scheme of 1999 in the post of four pay scales S-1, S-2, S-3 and S-4 shall be ignored for the purpose of MACP. In other words all the three MACP will be available to all the Group D employees who have since been placed in the grade pay of 1800/-. If an employee has completed 10 years of service he should be granted the GP of 1900/-; if completed 20 years of service he should be granted the GP of 2000/-; and if he has completed 30 years of service he should be placed in the GP of 2400/-. In some departments these MACP has not been granted to the Group D employees. The staff side therefore insisted an enabling clarificatory instructions may be issued. The Official Side agreed to issue such clarificatory instructions.

7. Item No:5: Counting 50% of service rendered by Temporary Status CLs for reckoning 10,20, and 30 years of service under MACP scheme.

It was pointed out that the Railways have already issued orders for counting 50% of service rendered by Temporary Status Casual labourers for reckoning 12 and 24 years of service under the old ACP scheme. It was also pointed out that Courts have also ordered that total service rendered as TS CLs may be counted for the purpose of ACP. The Official Side were of the opinion that 50% of service rendered by TS CLs has been counted only for the purpose of pension. The Staff Side pointed out that the TS CLs have been granted all the facilities admissible to a Temporary Employee in respect of leave, increment, pay scale etc and therefore this may be deemed as a regular service for the purpose of MACP also as has been done by the Railways. The Official Side wanted the order of the Railway Department regarding ACP and the Orders of the Courts for their examination.

8. Item No:6: Supervised staff placed in higher Grade Pay than that of the supervisor.

The Staff Side suggested that this item may be transferred to National Anomaly Committee item and discussed there. This has been agreed to. There are 23 more items which have been suggested by the Staff Side leaders of Railways. It was pointed out that leaders of other departments may also suggest many other anomalies related to MACP. The Staff Side stated that as and when these additional items are received they may be included in the Agenda for discussion in the subsequent meetings. The Official Side agreed to.


Payment of fee under the Right to lnformation Act. 2005 - scope of sub-section (3) of Section 7 of the Act

with 1 comment


N0.12/9/2009-IR
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
(Department of Personnel and Training)
******


North Block, New Delhi
Dated the 24th May, 2010


OFFICE-MEMORANDUM


Subject: Payment of fee under the Right to lnformation Act. 2005 - scope of sub-section (3) of Section 7 of the Act.


******


               The Undersigned is directed to say that a question is raised from time to time whether a Public lnformation Officer (PIO) has power to charge fee under Section 7(3) of the RTI Act, 2005 in addition to fee prescribed under Sections 6(1), 7(1) and 7(5) of the Act.


  

2.Section 6(1) of the Act enables the Government to prescribe application fee and sub-sections (1) and (5) of Section 7 to prescribe fee in addition to application fee for supply of information. On the other hand sub-section (3) of Section 7 provides the procedure which a PI0 has to follow for realizing the fee prescribed under sub-sections (1) and (5) of the Section. Details of fees that can be charged by a public authority under the Central Government are contained in the Right to information (Regulation of Fee & Cost) Rules, 2005. The Rules or the Act do not give power to the PI0 to charge any fee other than prescribed in the Fee and Cost Rules. Attention in this regard is invited to following extracts from the common order passed by the Central Information Commission in Appeal No. CI/MA/A/2008/0185 (Shri K.K. Kishore Vs. Institute of Company Secretaries of lndia) and Complaint No.CIC/WB/C/2007/00943 (Shri Subodh Jain Vs. Dy. Commissioner of Police) :

  

"The Act under proviso to sub-section (5) of Section 7 also provides that fee prescribed under sub-sections (1) and (5) of Section 7 shall be reasonable and no such fee shall be charged from the persons who are below poverty line as may be determined by the Appropriate Government. The Government has already prescribed fees as deemed reasonable mandated under Sections 7(1) and 7(5) of the Act and in the view of the Commission, there is no provision for any further fee apart from the one already prescribed under Sections 7(1) and 7(5) of the Act".

  

"Thus, there is provision for charging of fee only under Section 6(1) which is the application fee; Section 7(1) which is the fee charged for photocopying etc. and Section 7 (5) which is for getting information in printed or electronic format. But there is no provision for any further fee and if any further fee is being charged by the Public Authorities in addition to what is already prescribed under Section 6(1), 7(1) and 7(5) of the Act, the same would be in contravention of the Right to Information Act. The "further fee" mentioned in Section 7(3) only refers to the procedure in availing of the further fee already prescribed under 7(5) of the RTI Act, which is "further" in terms of the basic fee of Rs.10/-. Section 7(3), therefore, provides for procedure for realizing the fees so prescribed".

  

3. The Commission, while delivering decision in above cases, recommended to this Department to make rules, for charging fee towards supply of information which may include fee for supply of books, maps, plans, documents, samples, models etc. that are priced and towards postal/courier charges for mailing information, when postal/courier charges are in excess of minimum slab prescribed by the Department of Posts and for other similar situations.

  

4. The Right to Information (Regulation of Fee & Cost) Rules, 2005 already provide provisions for charging of fee for giving information in diskettes or floppies or in the form of photo copy; for providing samples, models, printed material like books, maps, plans etc; and for inspection of records. The Government have, however, not considered it desirable to charge fee towards expenditure involved in mailing information or overhead expenditure etc. Nevertheless, supply of information in a form which would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority is taken care of by Section 7(9) of the Act according to which information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought but supply of information in a particular form may be refused if supply of information in that form would divert the resources of the public authority disproportionately.

  

5. It is hereby clarified that where a Public Information Officer takes a decision to provide information on payment of fee in addition to the application fee, he should determine the quantum of such fee in accordance with the fee prescribed under the Fee and Cost Rules referred to above and give the details of such fee to the applicant together with the calculation made to arrive at such fee. Since the Act or the Rules do not provide for charging of fee towards postal expenses or cost involved in deployment of man power for supply of information etc., he should not ask the applicant to pay fee on such account. However, wherever supply of information in a particular form would disproportionately divert the resources of the publicauthority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the records, the PIO may refuse to supply the information in that form.

  

6. Contents of this OM may be brought to the notice of all concerned.

(K.G. Verma)
Director


Office Memorandum

Parametric reforms of NPS merit consideration

with 0 Comment


Parametric reforms of NPS merit consideration

The mandatory New Pension System (NPS) has been applicable for the Central government employees since 2004. It mandates a contribution of 10% each from the covered civil servants and from the government, as an employer. The contribution base is the full salary.

The interim PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) set up in 2003, has instituted a well-designed NPS architecture.

The 13th Finance Commission, which submitted its report on February 25, 2010, reported that 23 states have adopted the NPS for their civil servants. The total amount currently at Rs 12500 million is expected to increase rapidly.

While voluntary NPS for all Indian citizens with a minimum annual contribution of Rs 6,000 was made operational from May 2009, Swavlamban with a top-up of Rs 1,000 for members from the unorganised sector, is set to take off anytime now.

Both the mandatory and voluntary NPS require accumulations till age 60, with no pre-retirement withdrawals, enabling compounding effect to benefit members.

Recently, the interim PFRDA has raised the age of joining the NPS to 60 years from the previous 55 years.

The NPS charges and fees for services of the points of presence (PoP) and for the central recordkeeping agency (CRA) are flat and fixed. Therefore, they adversely impact members with short period of accumulations.

As an example, a member joining at the age of 59 contributing the minimum depositof Rs 500 pm and retiring at 60 would end up obtaining a negative 15.20% (annualised) return despite an assumed positive 10% growth by the pension fund due to a fixed cost of Rs780 in year one. However, as the balances grow, these charges become relatively less important.

Thus, for the NPS members who are contributing only minimum amount required, raising the age of joining to 60, but leaving other design parameters unchanged,(and ignoringSwavlamban contributions), is likely to result in negligible returns under plausible assumptions.

For those in the same age cohort contributing relatively large amounts annually to NPS (e.g. 2 lakh), it is the EET (Exempt at Investment, Exempt at Growth, and Taxed at withdrawals) which could result in negligible returns if the membership period is short. This is because whatever a member contributes between aged 57 - 59, is paid back at 60 as own taxable income.

Raising the age for joining the NPS by the PFRDA provides an opportunity to seriously consider the following parametric reform for the pay-out phase for both the mandatory and voluntary NPS.

It should be emphasised that these reforms should be considered as a package and not separately, though not all of them need to be introduced at the same time.

First, the mandatory annuity requirement may be reconsidered. A phased-withdrawal program, under which a member does not join an insurance pool, but retains the annuity component (40%) of accumulated balances in a special interest-bearing account, or senior- citizen- bond may be a possibility.

A member may be given options to withdraw principal plus interest every quarter for a period ranging from 10 to 20 years until the amount is exhausted. The bond could receive treatment similar to interest paid to senior citizens for fixed deposits.

All members may choose this option up to a prescribed amount (e.g. Rs 10 lakh in 2010 prices). This would enable disciplined and stable withdrawal of funds over the period chosen.

Alternatively, a member can opt to receive only interest / return as quarterly withdrawal in the initial period and withdraw accumulated balances in a phased manner at a later stage e.g. beginning at age 70.

Under the phased withdrawal, there is no insurance pool, so a member retains the ownership of balances and therefore nominees benefit in the event of member’s death.

PFRDA should encourage research and policy dialogue on phased withdrawal options appropriate for the NPS. This can also benefit micro-pension, and occupational pension plans.

Second, the age of ‘retirement’ from NPS could be made more flexible. Thus a member may chose to partially withdraw the accumulated balances as lump-sum (60%); purchase mandatory annuity and, as proposed above, invest in a phased withdrawal plan, at any time between the age of 60 and 70. This will have several advantages.

- It will permit individuals to enter NPS even between ages of 55 and 60, and still have sufficient time to accumulate retirement funds.

- It will provide flexibility to individuals to choose the macroeconomic conditions, particularly the interest rate conditions, under which to purchase annuities, and participate in the proposed phased withdrawal program. For greater flexibility the age of withdrawal of lumpsum, and the purchase on annuity (and phased withdrawal program) could be separated. Thus, a person could withdraw lump-sum at age 60, but purchase the annuity anytime between 60 and 70 years.

- Flexibility in timing of annuity purchases will better enable suppliers of annuities and bonds, such as life insurance companies, to match their assets and liabilities; and help manage uncertainties in longevity trends.

- Third, the current EET treatment of NPS is disadvantageous to its growth compared with other instruments that are subject to EEE treatment. Thus, there is a strong case for exempting from income tax a reasonable proportion of accumulated NPS balances.

As there is already a higher exemption level for senior citizens of Rs 240,000 currently, the two combined should enable even the middle class income earners to be exempt from income tax during old age. Simultaneously, the reported plans to harmonise EET treatment for other pension and provident fund plans in April 2011 should be implemented to minimise tax arbitrage.

The above three parametric reforms in the mandatory and voluntary NPS will further strengthen the NPS design, and contribute to better retirement income security.

They could also help in increasing NPS membership, which, to date, has been very disappointing with around 5,000 members, and meager balances of Rs 100 million.

India’s current elderly population of about 105 million is projected to increase to 330 million by 2050.

India’s demographic challenges arising from rapid ageing, and its need for fiscal consolidation (the current Greek crisis has lent greater urgency to this issue globally), strongly suggests that the PFRDA Bill be considered by the Parliament expeditiously; and parametric reforms of NPS suggested above be given urgent consideration.
Source: DNA India

Walk Out by Air India Employees

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Walk Out by Air India Employees

A section of ground employees of Air India have walked out of their assigned duty stations today morning/afternoon. The Management has mustered all available resources to minimize the impact on the scheduled operations. While flights from the major metro cities have not been affected, there have been a few dislocations at some of the non-metro airports.

Despite the tragedy that struck Air India on 22nd May 2010 in the shape of a fatal accident to IX 812, the airline has been able to operate 116 of the 123 scheduled flights on the network till 1430 hours. While there have been 4 cancellations, some flights have been delayed or combined. The airline is making every possible effort to maintain normalcy in operations and ensure the highest standards of service to our valued passengers.

In this context, the Management would like to extend an unqualified apology to the passengers who have faced or may be facing inconveniences due to the dislocated operations.

Appeal to employees

The recent unfortunate incident involving an Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore is still fresh in the minds of every one. A large number of employees volunteered to assist and be available at the disaster site for helping Air India deal with the tragedy and reach out to the people. In this hour of crisis, the Management earnestly appeals to all sections of employees to join hands to strengthen the airline and maintain high performance to show that Air India can cope up with any emergency.

Air India, as befits its role of a National Carrier, is committed to ensuring that genuine aspirations of all sections of the employees will be met. The Company has a well-established system of dealing with any grievance - be it of an individual employee or groups of employees.

With the onset of the summer season, all our flights are reporting full loads. In fact, it was only on Sunday, 16th May 2010, that we flew a record number of 50,308 passengers on our entire network. We are on the path of consolidation post the merger of erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines; and for this the whole hearted co-operation along with involvement and unstinted support of each and every one of you is a must.

Leave Travel Concession to Jammu&Kashmir By Air

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LTC to Jammu&Kashmir By Air

A special incentive to boost tourism in Jammu and Kashmir is being finalised by the Centre ahead of the PM’s visit to the Valley next month. Central government employees wanting to travel to Jammu and Kashmir on leave will soon be able to avail of a special LTC (Leave Travel Concession) package for Jammu and Kashmir. Proposed along the lines of a similar and hugely successful initiative for the Northeastern states, this will entitle Central government employees to fly to the state for a vacation along with their immediate family. The proposal is being finalised by a Committee of Secretaries and is likely to be announced before the Prime Minister’s visit, sources said.

They said the incentive was aimed at encouraging more people to travel to Jammu and Kashmir and increasing people to people contact with the residents of the Valley. The move is also likely to generate revenue for the state from tourism and result in some income for Air India.

The incentive would be valid for travel to any of the three regions of the state —- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

source:Indian Express

Grant of Overtime Allowance to Railway employees consequent upon revision of pay scales and allowances

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Almost all Central Government Employees other than Railways are getting Over Time Allowance(OTA) asper pre-revised pay scale only(5th CPC or 4th CPC).

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(RAILWAY BOARD)


RBE No. 29 / 2010
New Delhi, dated 17.02.2010

S.No. PC-VI/189
No. PC-V/2008/A/O/3(OTA)


The General Manager(P)
All Zonal Railways and PUs.
(As per Mailing lists)


Subject:-     Grant of Overtime Allowance to Railway employees consequent upon revision of pay scales and allowances.

*****

Pursuant to the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, the issue of revision of Over Time Allowance has been under consideration and in partial modification of the Board’s earlier orders on the subject, it has been decided by the Board that the Railway employees who are governed by the Statutory Acts like the Factories Act, Hours of Employment Regulations or those covered under rules for Departmental Overtime and who have opted for the revised scales of pay in terms of Railway Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2008, may be granted overtime allowance, on the basis of their emoluments in the revised scales of pay.

2. The emoluments, for the purpose of computation of rates of OTA will comprise the following:

a) Railway employees governed by Factories Act

• Basic Pay (Pay in Pay Band + Grade Pay)

• Dearness Allowance

• House Rent Allowance

• Transport Allowance

• Cash equivalent of the advantage accruing through the concessional sale to workers of food grains and other articles, as the worker is for the time being entitled to (excluding wages for Overtime work or Bonus)

b) Railway employees governed by HOER

• All the items as shown in (a) above except House Rent Allowance

c) Railway employees governed by rules Under Departmental Overtime

(i) Employees working in Loco Sheds and C & W Depot

• All the items as shown in (a) above except House Rent Allowance

(ii) Other Railway employees governed under Departmental Orders

• Basic Pay (Pay in Pay Band + Grade Pay)

• Dearness Allowance

3. The revised rates of Overtime Allowance shall be effective from 01-9-2008.

4. With a view to minimize instances of OTA, General Managers may take following measures:-

(i) Prepare an action plan for systematic and efficient utilization of manpower covering various aspects viz. filling up of vacancies, especially in Running staff and operational categories, proper management of sanction of leave and rational deployment of staff.

(ii) Conduct a fresh job analysis of the duties of Motor Car Drivers who are presently classified as ‘Continuous’ to determine their actual period of working requiring sustained attention.

(iii) Prefer hiring of vehicles for official use, if necessary.

(iv) Allow compensatory off to the staff booked on holidays due to exigencies.

(v) Direct all the RRBs to follow a uniform pattern by giving compensatory off to their staff instead of OTA.

(vi) Review payment of OTA to supervisors in the Pay Band-2 except to those who are earmarked for breakdown duties, to minimize the incidence of OTA.

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

6. Hindi version is enclosed.

(N.P. Singh)
Deputy Director,
Pay Commission-V
Railway Board


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