Thursday, April 5, 2018

GDS Pay Revision: Implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee Report is under active consideration

GDS Pay Revision: Implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee Report is under active consideration

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
DEPARTMENT OF POSTS
LOK SABHA

UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.6073
TO BE ANSWERED ON 4TH APRIL, 2018

KAMLESH CHANDRA COMMITTEE

6073. SHRI PRABHAKAR REDDY KOTHA:
SHRI B. VINOD KUMAR:

Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Kamlesh Chandra Committee has submitted its report on the conditions of Gramin Dak Sevaks across the country and if so, the details and the major recommendations thereof;
(b) whether the Government proposes to implement the said recommendations of the Committee and if so, the details thereof and the time by which it is likely to be done;
(c) whether the Government proposes to regularise the Gramin Dak Sevaks in the near future and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor; (d) whether the Government has taken note of the agitation made by Rural Postal Employees seeking implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee recommendations, if so, the details thereof; and
(e) the reaction of the Government thereto?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE (IC) OF THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS & MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS (SHRI MANOJ SINHA)

(a) Yes Madam. The details and the major recommendations are attached as Annexure-I.

(b) Yes Madam. The recommendations made by the Committee constituted to look into the salary structure, other service matters and problems of Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDSs) have been considered by the Department. These are currently under approval within the Government. Once necessary approvals have been obtained, the recommendations will be implemented.

(c) No Madam. At present there is no proposal to regularize the Gramin Dak Sevaks. GDSs cannot be regularized for the following reasons :-

i. The Gramin Branch Post Offices function where the workload and traffic does not justify opening of a departmental post office irrespective of the element of profitability. The Gramin Dak Sevaks are engaged by the department for a maximum of five hours in a day and are paid remuneration based on actual work load. The GDS are not wholly dependent upon allowances paid by the Department. Allowances paid by the department are only supplement to the livelihood (main source of income) of GDS. Therefore, one of the conditions for their engagement is that they are mandatorily required to possess independent source of income for livelihood of themselves and their family before they are engaged as GDS.

ii. The legal status of the Gramin Dak Sevaks as held by Apex Court in 1977 is that they are holders of the civil posts outside the regular civil service. The Extra departmental agents (now re-designated as Gramin Dak Sevaks) are governed by non-statutory rules called Gramin Dak Sevaks (Conduct & Engagement) Rules, 2011 which are not framed under Article 309 of the constitution.

(d) & (e) Yes Madam. Department of Posts has taken note of the agitation by Rural Postal Employees seeking implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee recommendations. The recommendations of the Kamlesh Chandra Committee have been considered by the Department. These are currently under approval within the Government. Once necessary approvals have been obtained, the recommendations will be implemented. The Department has already informed the Gramin Dak Sevaks unions that the implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee Report is under active consideration and appealed to them to withdraw the agitation.

Annexure- I
Salient features of the One Man Committee Report headed by Shri Kamlesh Chandra

  • The old system of payment of Time Related Continuity Allowance (TRCA) is dispensed with and replaced with a new wage payment system. Under the new wage payment system, 11 TRCA slabs are subsumed into 3 Wage Scales with two Levels each for Branch Postmasters (BPMs) and for other than BPMs. One wage scale would be common for both the categories of GDSs.
  • The minimum working hours of GDS Post Offices and GDSs are increased to 4 hours from 3 hours.
  • The new working hours for GDS Post Offices will be 4 hours and 5 hours only.
  • The Level 1 GDS Post Offices / GDSs will have 4 hours as working hours and Level – 2 will have 5 hours as working hours.
  • The Point System for assessment of workload of BPMs has been abolished.
  • The new wage payment system is linked to revenue generation of GDS Post Offices. Under the new system, there will be no increase in wages of BPMs from Level -1 to Level -2 on the basis of workload but the same will be increased based on achievement of prescribed revenue norms which is fixed at 100% for normal areas and 50% for special areas.
  • The GDS Post Offices not achieving the prescribed revenue norm within the given working hours will have to open GDS Post Offices for minimum of additional 30 minutes beyond the prescribed working hours.
  • The GDS BPMs will be paid Revenue Linked Allowance @10% beyond level-2 wage scale if they will be successful in achieving revenue beyond prescribed norms
  • The GDS Post Offices have been categorized into A, B, C and D categories based on the revenue generation norms. The GDS Post Office in A category will achieve 100% revenue norm. The Committee has recommended a set of actions for each category of GDS Post Offices.
  • The six approved categories of GDSs are subsumed into two categories only. One category will be Branch Post Master and all other 5 categories of GDSs are subsumed into one Multi Tasking Category.
  • The GDSs working in the GDS Post Offices will be known as Assistant Branch Post Master (ABPMs) and those working in the Departmental Post Offices will be known as Dak Sevak (DS).
  • The minimum wage has been increased to Rs. 10000/- per month and maximum pay to Rs. 35480/- per month.
  • The rate of annual increase is recommended as 3%.
  • A Composite Allowance comprising of support for hiring accommodation for GDS Post Offices as well as mandatory residence, office maintenance, mobile and electricity usage charges etc. has been introduced for the first time.
  • Children Education Allowance @Rs. 6000/- per child per annum has been introduced for GDSs.
  • Risk & Hardship Allowance @Rs. 500/- per month for GDS working in the special areas has also been introduced.
  • A Financial up-gradation has been introduced at 12 years, 24 years and 36 years of services in form of two advance additional annual increases.
  • The Ceiling of ex-gratia gratuity has been increased from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 5,00,000
  • The GDS Contribution for Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) should be enhanced maximum up to 10% and minimum up to 3% of the basic wage per month, whereas the Department should contribute a fixed contribution of 3% of the basic wage of the GDSs.
  • The coverage of GDS Group Insurance Scheme has been enhanced from Rs. 50000/- to Rs. 5,00,000/
  • The contribution of Department in Circle Welfare Fund (CWF) has been increased from Rs. 100/ per annum to Rs. 300/ per annum.
  • The scope of CWF is extended to cover immediate family members such as spouse; daughters, sons and dependent daughters in law in the scheme.
  • The Committee also recommended 10% hike in the prescribed limits of financial grants and assistances in the Circle Welfare Funds.
  • The Committee has recommended addition of Rs. 10,000/ for purchase of Tablet /Mobile from the Circle Welfare in the head “Financial Assistance of Fund by way of loans with lower rate of interest (5%)”.
  • Provision of 26 weeks of Maternity Leave for women GDS has been recommended.
  • The wages for the entire period of Maternity Leave is recommended to be paid from salary head from where wages of GDSs are paid.
  • The Committee has also recommended one week of paternity leave.
  • Leave accumulation and encashment facility up to 180 days has been introduced.
  • Online system of engagement has been recommended.
  • Alternate livelihood condition for engagement of GDSs has been relaxed.
  • Voluntary Discharge scheme has been recommended.
  • The Discharge age has been retained at 65 years.
  • The Limited Transfer Facility has been relaxed from 1 time to 3 times for male GDSs.
  • There will be no restriction on number of chances for transfer of women GDSs. The powers for transfer has been delegated to the concerned Divisional head.
  • The ex-gratia payment during put off period should be revised to 35% from 25% of the wage and DA drawn immediately before put off.
  • The Committee has recommended preferring transfer before put off duty.

Source: Lok Sabha Q&A

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