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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Government to release pay commission arrears

The government has decided to pay the second instalment of the Sixth Pay Commission arrears.

"As in the case of the first instalment of the arrears, government servants would be permitted to deposit their arrears in their GPF (general provident fund) accounts," an internal finance ministry memorandum said.

The first instalment of 40 percent was paid last fiscal.

The finance ministry has not given any deadline for the payment of the second tranche, but sources said it would probably be paid around Diwali.

According to official estimates, the arrears will cost the government Rs.29,373 crore.

There are about 3.8 million central government pensioners (excluding armed forces) as estimated by the All India Central Government Pensioners Association (AICGPA).

The revised pension scheme was implemented with retrospective effect from Jan 1, 2006.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Govt to review IIT faculty pay

With faculty from across the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) calling off lectures and threatening dire consequences like mass resignation, the Centre has sat up and promised to revisit the pay structure it formulated for IIT teachers.
On Friday, HRD minister Kapil Sibal said his officials would take a look at the salary offered to faculty and rework the pay structure if need be.
Sibal said the problem was that though at the entry level, IIT teachers get more salary, selection for the next promotion, unlike the UGC system where it is automatic, results in disparity. “We will look into it,” he said.
On their part, IIT professors continued their protest.
At IITMadras, faculty stayed away from classes on Friday and IIT-Bombay teachers refused to conduct lectures on Monday. The Union government recently announced pay scales for faculty at centrally-funded technical institutes but declared a salary structure lower than what was recommended by the Govardhan Mehta Committee, set up to decide pay scales for staff at central institutes.
“The pay scales are almost as much as the UGC scales. For us, equal measure is laid on our academic duties and research work. The government has not taken the hard work we put in into consideration,” said Soumyo Mukherji, secretary of the faculty forum at IIT-B.
For instance, whether a professor is employed in a state university or at the IITs, he/she is place in pay band 4, which ranges from Rs 37,400 to Rs 67,000, the only difference being that of the academic grade pay (AGP), on lines with grade pay for government employees.
While AGP for state university professors recommended by the UGC stands at Rs 10,000, the same is Rs 10,500 for those in IIT. “We are competing against American universities to attract talent. With such pay scales, we cannot expect any top rate teacher to join the IITs,” said S Bhat, president of the faculty forum.
The IITs had demanded that faculty members be given an incentive for research as well as for upgrading their professional skills, but the final announcement omitted all these recommendations.

Friday, August 21, 2009

ORDNANCE MCM WILL GET RS.4200 GRADE PAY AT PAR WITH RAILWAYS MCM

The problem which started with 5th CPC has been settled with the emergence of 6th CPC. Ordnance-MCM who had been availing payment equivalent to Railway-MCM till 4th CPC, after the establishment of 5th CPC ceased to receive so. After 5th CPC, Ordnance-MCM received pay range as Rs.4500-7000 , whereas Railways received pay range of Rs.5000-8000.

The demand which started at that time has been rendered to action by the government at last.

A Fast Track Committee was put into formation to solve the problem that arose for Railways MCM. Ordnance and Postal departments too joined the committee. The committee disscussed various issues at various time period.

A condition was put forth that for the implementation of Rs.5000-8000 to Ordnance-MCM they have to accept the proposal of dividing Highly Skilled Grade into two segments. Having accepted the proposal the Ordnance MCM was granted their plea by the Government.

As a goodwill of this, 50 percent of the Highly Skilled Grade (Rs.2400 Grade Pay) will rise to Rs.2800 Grade Pay.

Along with this, all the MCM will receive Rs.4200 Grade Pay. This has been regarded as a historical achievement.

Along with the change in grade pay for promotion, 3 percent hike in increment has now been known. Accordingly, 50 percent of Highly Skilled Grade will receive Rs.400 plus one increment.

For MCM as a whole they would receive Rs.1400 plus one increment. Also there is chance for increase in basic pay.

Along side, to having changed to Rs.4200 Grade Pay there are privileges of availing II nd tier A/C and Airway travel resulting in abundance of joy as a whole, and they are not failing to thank all the Unions and Federations for their great effort.

It is not exaggeration to say that the Ordnance employees are in sheer joy and excitement to having achieved for what they have been toiling for over ten years.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Railways to pay 75 days Productivity-linked bonus

Railways to pay 75 days Productivity-linked bonus
The Railways have decided to pay its employees 75 days productivity-linked bonus for this year, according to railway ministry sources.
The bonus has been cleared by Railway minister Mamata Banerjee, the sources told newspersons in Kolkata today. The Railways had paid 73 days productivity-linked bonus last year.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Big tax cut coming your way

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee unveiled a roadmap for reforms in direct taxes that promises to drastically cut the tax liability of most individuals by considerably raising tax slabs. The new direct taxes code, proposed to be implemented from April 2011, aims to moderate effective tax rates in the hope that this will encourage more people to pay up.

Proposed Income Tax Rates for Individuals

Up to Rs.1,60,000

Nil

From Rs.1,61,000 to Rs.10,00,000

10 Per cent (Income exceeds Rs.1,60,000)

From Rs.10,01,000 to 25,00,000

20 Per cent (Rs.84,000 + Income exceeds Rs.10,00,000)

Above Rs.25,00,000

30 Per cent (Rs.3,84,000 + Income exceeds Rs.25,00,000)

Proposed Income Tax Rates for Women-below 65 years

Up to Rs.1,90,000

Nil

From Rs.1,91,000 to Rs.10,00,000

10 Per cent (Income exceeds Rs.1,90,000)

From Rs.10,01,000 to 25,00,000

20 Per cent (Rs.81,000 + Income exceeds Rs.10,00,000)

Above Rs.25,00,000

30 Per cent (Rs.3,81,000 + Income exceeds Rs.25,00,000)

Proposed Income Tax Rates for Senior Citizens

Up to Rs.2,40,000

Nil

From Rs.2,41,000 to Rs.10,00,000

10 Per cent (Income exceeds Rs.2,40,000)

From Rs.10,01,000 to 25,00,000

20 Per cent (Rs.76,000 + Income exceeds Rs.10,00,000)

Above Rs.25,00,000

30 Per cent (Rs.3,76,000 + Income exceeds Rs.25,00,000)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Govt. considering raising retirement age to 62

The government is actively considering raising the retirement age of all central government employees, including those in the armed forces, from the present 60 to 62 years.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has submitted a report to the prime minister outlining all the pros and cons of the move, including the “cascading effects” on government employment and the huge savings, at least for two years, on account of retirement payouts.

If the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the prime minister find the arguments forwarded by the finance ministry credible and convincing, the announcement may come as early as August 15, as part of Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day speech.

The Cabinet may discuss the matter tomorrow.

Although the finance ministry is making a strong case for the move, the DoPT is taking time to make up its mind, possibly out of consideration for the 1979 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and other central services. Officers of the 1979 batch have been empanelled for promotion to the ranks of additional secretary and secretary but can take up their posts only after the present incumbents retire. If an announcement extending the retirement age comes before November, a batch of empanelled joint secretaries stand to lose their future ranks. In turn, this will also affect those who joined the central administrative services in 1980. The DoPT also says that the age profile of Indian bureaucrats, instead of becoming younger, will become older, out of tune with the rest of the world.

For the finance ministry, the gains from the move are clear. The pension payout of all armed forces personnel of the rank of Lieutenant General and equivalent who were to retire this year will be postponed by 24 months; the government will also defer by two years the liability of paying pension to more than 100,000 employees. While salaries will have to continue to be paid, this will be cheaper than paying upfront benefits like gratuity.

This is all the more important given the government’s other financial liabilities on account of stimulus spending and one drought, though the effects of the latter will kick in only in the next fiscal year. The fiscal deficit is 6.8 per cent of gross domestic product this year and a two-year lag in paying pensions will help in bridging this.

In 1998, the National Democratic Alliance government had raised the retirement age from 58 to 60, a move that benefitted 90,000 government servants and 50,000 defence personnel. At the time, the logic was: the retirement of 140,000 employees would have cost Rs 5,200 crore whereas paying salaries cost only Rs 1,493 crore.

That move came in the wake of the 5th Pay Commission report which had just been implemented by the then United Front government. In 2003, the government also right-sized the central government employee workforce by 30 per cent.

Every time the Centre announces an increase or concession on pay packages, both public-sector units and state governments follow suit. If the prime minister does decide to raise the retirement age, state governments and Public Sector Units (PSUs) will mirror this action. This has its own implications for many cash-strapped states like Punjab.

If the decision is finally taken, it will only be the third time the government will have raised the retirement age. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister to have increased the age of superannuation from 55 to 58 following the 1962 war with China. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government did it a second time in 1998.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Govt can terminate temporary staff without assigning reason: CAT

The central government can terminate the services of its temporary employee without assigning any reason, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) said.
The tribunal passed the order on a petition filed by an ex-technician Avinash challenging his termination by the Safdarjung Hospital after his services were not found satisfactory during the probation period.
"Offer of appointment specifically provide that the services of an applicant can be terminated at any time without assigning any reason. There is no mandatory provision to assign any reason thereof," the CAT, comprising members Dharam Paul Sharma and N D Dayal, said.
Rejecting the contentions of Avinash, the Tribunal said it is a case of "termination simpliciter in legitimate exercise of power under the Central Civil Services (Temporary Services) rules."
Avinash cited a number of cases which had been decided on similar lines in the apex court and said his termination was an example of violation of "principles of natural justice."

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Admissibllity / entitlement for traveling by Shatabadl Express

An office memorandum has been issued by Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance regarding admissibllity / entitlement for traveling by Shatabadl Express. The OM clarifies that for the purpose of journeys on tour, officers drawing Grade Pay of Rs.7600 and above are entitled to travel by Executive Class in Shatabadi trains and AC First Class In Rajdhani trains.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Strike ends, banks to resume work from today

The two-day strike by the bank employees ended on Friday with the Indian Bank Association (IBA) reportedly agreeing to the demand of the agitating bank employees for 17.5% hike in their salaries.
Convener of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) AK Srivastava said that since the IBA has agreed to the demand of the bank employees they would resume work from Saturday. He informed that the agreement was reached at a meeting held between the UFBU and IBA in New Delhi.
Bank officials said they would ensure that customers get the best of the services. But since banks function for half-day only on Saturday, customers may have some problems when banks resume work. Officials said they had no intention to hit the customers but then it was the decision of the IBA to roll back the earlier agreed hike of 17.5% which forced them to go on a two-day strike. But, the issue has now been resolved, they added.
Bank sources said that transactions to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore were affected because of the strike in UP alone.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank Employees Association here too came out in open support of the bank employees strike. The RBI employees staged a demonstration at the RBI office in Gomtinagar to express their solidarity with the agitating bank employees. The association condemned the Central government's uncalled interference in wage negotiations of banking industry and demanded immediate wage settlement along with pension related issues.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Revision of pay scales of Faculty and Scientific/Design Staff as per 6th CPC

Revision of pay scales of Faculty and Scientific/Design Staff and other academic staff of Centrally funded technical institutions following pay revision of the Central Government employees on the recommendation of the sixth Pay Commission.
The Union Cabinet today approved the revision of pay scales of Faculty, Design & Scientific Staff and other academic staff of the Centrally funded institutions. The Cabinet also approved giving financial assistance to States for implementing the above revised scales.
This will enable the Institutes to recruit and retain talented and well qualified faculty and to provide them an environment and working conditions that encourage them to enhance their performance and capacity

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Employee to be heard in case of adverse ACR: CAT

The government has to give an opportunity to its employee to present his case if there is an adverse remark in the Annual Confidential Report(ACR) which could hamper his promotion, the Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT)has said.
The tribunal passed the order on a petition of a senior scientist, J P Sharma, working with Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR),alleging that he was deprived of promotion on the basis of an adverse ACR without giving him an opportunity to challenge the report.
The government contended that overall grading in his ACR for last two years was 'average' but denied him the right to representation on the ground that it was 'not adverse'per se.
But, the tribunal did not agree with the government's view and said the employee has the right to be heard in all cases where his prospect of promotion gets adversely affected due to the 'average' grading as he would get promoted only after getting 'very good' grading.
"It is the effect which the entry is having which determines whether it is an adverse one or not. Any entry below the benchmark which deprives someone of eligibility for promotion must be informed about and be given a right to representation," the Bench comprising chairman V K Bali and N D Dayal said.

LIC staff to go on 2-hour strike on Aug 4 to protest LIC Bill

The LIC employees will observe a nationwide two-hour walk out strike on August 4, 2009 in protest against the introduction of LIC (Amendment) Bill 2009 in the Lok Sabha. The strike call was given by All India Insurance Emoloyees' Association (AIIEA).
The Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha was a step further in implementing the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee which recommended opening up of insurance sector to private capital, General Secretary of the association K Venu Gopal said in a statement here today.
The move is to meet the demands of the foreign capital to further liberalise the insurance sector and the bill is detrimental to the interests of the policyholders and the national economy, he said.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No data on Muslim employees in Central govt jobs: Khurshid

The government today said it does not maintain statistics of Muslim employees in Central government services but it has data for the five minority communities as a whole.

In reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (Independent charge) of the ministry of Minority Affairs, Salman Khurshid said, "government does not maintain statistics of employment of Muslims in the Central government services".

Khurshid said the data is not collected minority community wise or service wise by the DOPT but for the five minority communities as a whole.

Giving these statistics, the minister said that while 12,182 minorities were recruited in ministries and departments in 2006-07, this figure stood at 12,195 in 2007-08 and 4,479 in the year 2008-09.

He however, said the guidelines issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) on January 8, 2007, include instructions for monitoring the progress in recruitment of minorities in all ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, public sector banks and financial institutions.